My life my lesson

My life my lesson is a powerful, poignant and unsentimental coming-of-age documentary. We follow 16-year-old Felicia over the course of two years as she is attempting to live a normal teenage-life, having been brought up witnessing her stepfather beating her mother. It's an intimate portrait of a family living with the scars of domestic violence and a young girls attempt to change her father. As he no longer lives with the family she tries to keep him on the straight and narrow through phone conversations and text messages, to her mother’s dismay.

Felicia wants to heal the family, but at the same time, her wish to progress is made impossible by her self-harming and sleeping difficulties caused by the violence. She finds support in her friend Cherifa, who is never far from her side, as they both try to come to grips with how to get by when the world around them feels to be constantly on the verge of erupting.

After her stepfather again threatens to kill her mother the family is being sent to a women’s shelter. As things are put on edge Felicia’s bravery is tested – will she stand up for her family and herself, and testify in court against her father? And will she be able to make him change once and for all?

www.mylifemylesson.org

Directed by Åsa Ekman (A Mother's Comeback) My life my lesson is film in the documentary diptych SEETHEKIDS, aiming to raise the issue of children living in violence. The films have reached over 5 million viewers and have pointed out the need for support and treatment to eventually achieve a legislative change in Sweden (to criminalize the act of domestic violence in the presence of children). 

In co-operation with Ersta diakoni, SKR, The Gålö Foundation, Culture Foundation of the Swedish Postcode Lottery, The Erica Foundation, Save the Children Sweden, Swedish Psychological Association, The Swedish Church: Sofia Congregation and Victim Support Sweden.

Festivals IDFA (in competition, mid-length). Göteborg Film Festival (in competition, The Angelos award). Stockholm Film Festival Junior. Kosmorama Trondheim International Film Festival (Official selection). Filmfest Vatn. Docs Against Gravity Film Festival (in competition, Magic Hour Award). Nordic/Docs (WINNER, Best Nordic Feature-length Documentary). Budapest International Documentary Festival (in competition). Nuremberg International Human Rights Film Festival (in competition). This Human World Vienna. My life my lesson won a Kristallen (the official Swedish television Award) and was nominated for a Guldbagge (the official Swedish film award). 

58 minutes (2014) & 74 minutes (2015)

2014

Sweden/Norway

Swedish with English subtitles