DENMARK 112 MIN, 2019
A poignant portrait of Leila and Sahand, an Iranian couple who, outlawed for their love, flee the country with their four-year-old son, Mani. In Tehran, they committed the crime of having a secret affair while being married to other people and were forbidden to get divorced. Neither could they acknowledge that Mani was an illegitimate child since adultery can be punished with execution in Iran.
Eva graduated as documentary film director at The National Film School of Denmark in 2001. From here she embarked on her career starting by creating films intended for television, winning the Nord vision Award for Best Documentary in 2005 for her poetic portrait of aging The Last Dance.
In 2006 Eva received international recognition for her film Enemies of Happiness in which she follows the female afghan politician Malalai Joya and her campaign leading up to the first democratic elections in Afghanistan in 2005. The film won a Silver Wolf at IDFA, and the World Cinema Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival.
Her follow up documentary feature The Good Life (2010) was selected for the Feature-length Competition at IDFA and also selected for Hot Docs, Tribeca and San Francisco Film Festivals. In 2011 The Good Life was awarded Best Documentary Film in Karlovy Vary.
She has since directed films such as The Samurai Case (2011), The Castle (2014) as well as A Modern Man (2017), which was nominated for the NORDIC:DOX award at CPH:DOX and for best music documentary at the American IDA awards, and A Cherry Tale (2019) which premiered at CPH:DOX.
In 2011 Mulvad received the prestigious Roos Award for her entire filmic oeuvre. Other awards include the Golden Mermaid from WIFT given to young talents in filmmaking, and Steen Baadsgaards Pris, given to a young documentary filmmaker. She is a member of the Oscar Academy since 2019.
Mulvad is the co-owner of the acclaimed production company Danish Documentary Production.
Did you ever do something wrong? Do you know the icing cold feeling of shame running through your body? Are you familiar with the constant fear that these hidden actions will be exposed?
Most of us get out of forbidden affairs with fewer consequences than the couple Leila and Sahand — the protagonists of Love Child. Their secret forced them to leave a privileged life in Iran and start from scratch in a world full of people on the run.
They are managing the situation quiet well. Still their life as refugees is dominated by despaired, longing and powerlessness.
But also love — the main target for the escape is to create a decent life for their small son Mani, a life with a father and a family.
I started this project 6 years ago to create a story which makes it understandable what living conditions so many deal with when exiled: You are a stranger, a faceless system determines your fate, you meet ups and downs, but constantly you feel vulnerable, because you are without the basic rights many of us take for granted. The right to live under protection from the health, school or legal system of a nation, a guaranty that you can build you life on presumably stable ground.
The refugee crises is one of the big tragedies of our time, both to the people out there on miserable boats, walking the roads of Europe, meeting a fence in a dessert or held back in inhuman camps by barb wire. But also to us — the people of nations, which had the capacity to help, but closed the eyes.
Do you know the numbness, occurring when you have read about and watched a problem repeat too many times? Do you know the shame of doing nothing? It was that numbness I wanted to break when we started shooting in the outskirts of Istanbul many years ago. We had an ambition to break passivity and use what stories are good at: to get an audience involved.
Documentaries have the quality that they can take us beyond the headlines, because you spent time and get to know the characters. These stories can be a vaccination against generalisations; they can show us what is the consequence of politics.
The way we talk about the world, influence our opinions and perceptions. I believe it to be important to tell universal human stories that communicate across cultural differences. In this case, the story of a secret agent from a country, which is considered a part of the «axis of evil», his peculiar and complicated love story and a family’s unpredictable way through the UN refugee system.
- Toronto International Film Festival
- Chicago International Film Festival
- Doc NYC
- IDFA Amsterdam
- Budapest International Documentary Film Festival
- Göteborg International Film Festival
DOKer 2020 — Main Competition