I had the pleasure to grade this important documentary together with director Nina F. Grünfeld. It was interesting to learn about the fate of these Jewish children and how they turned out as adults. The movie was just screened at Bergen International Film Festival (BIFF), and received good reviews.
The movie is a mix of traditional documentary and dramatizations of real life experiences. Each of which needed their own distinct look.
The director wanted the drama-scenes to feel like the world seen through the eyes of the children, innocent, yet with the a constant presence of uncertainty.
After Anschluss in 1938, when Hitler marches into Austria, a group of Jewish children come from Vienna to Oslo for summer camp.
When they are about to return, the political conditions on the continent has become worse. What was meant to be a summer holiday turns out to become 7 years in exile.
One of the children is the directors father.
Child psychologist and communist Nina Hasvoll undertakes to manage an orphanage, on request from the Jewish Congregation, but it is on two conditions; she will not be responsible for their religious education and she can´t make food. In 1941 my deceased father joins the home.
Until fall 1942 the orphanage lives in a flat behind the occupied castle in Oslo. The night before 26th of November, the Norwegian police arrest Jewish children and women for deportation to Auschwitz. The must flee, again. With a margin of two hours they manage to hide, and escape to Sweden a couple of days later. They stay there until peace arrives in 1945. In the fall of 1945 they wish to return to Norway because they feel Norwegian. But the Norwegian authorities don´t want them.
Nina becomes like a mother to the children and a replacement for the lost families. When I am born in the 1966, my father names me after her.
“Nina’s Children” is the third and final film in a trilogy of personal documentaries, where the two previous films are “Origin unknown” (2005) and “The Dying Doctor” (2008).
Check out the trailer!
Production Company: Gründer Film as
Producer: Nina F. Grünfeld
Director: Nina F. Grünfeld
Screenplay: Nina F. Grünfeld
Cast: Birgitte Grimstad, Maiken Ostermann, Trini Austin Lund, Paula Hellsegg Grünfeld and more.
DOP: Torstein Nodland
Film Editors: Svein Olav Sandem & Inge-Lise Langfeldt
Sound Design: Daniel Lindvik
Online Editor: Raymond Gangstad
Colorist: Dylan R. Hopkin
Camera: Sony HDV, Canon 5D Mk2
Aspect: 1.85:1, 2K DCP
Duration: 65 minutes
Release date: October 2015