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France, 2020

Production : L'oeil Lucide

Programmed by Jenny Cartwright




Women are coming back from within themselves, struggling to become mothers. In a text, they tell the disappointment, the dizziness, the abysses, the shame … They tell how to hide this emotional void from those around them, how this child becomes a persecutor, how crazy and intrusive thoughts happen. And the desire to die. And yet love too. And the difficulty in finding help, appropriate support. Misunderstandings. And the injunctions …

A word from Tënk

With L’effondrement (“The Collapse”), Jenny Saastamoinen has orchestrated a polyphonic narrative, a kind of deliverance for women struggling with rocky entries into motherhood, motherhoods that bear no resemblance to the picture-perfect ideal they were told to long for and appreciate from the time they were children themselves.


“You can’t say it. You can’t tell anyone that you don’t feel like going home and seeing your kid.”



Saastamoinen collected these shocking statements—which wouldn’t be nearly as shocking if society hadn’t made them taboo!—and set them to rhythm, playing them back and deftly inserting the recording device into the documentary itself. Stripped down, with no sound design apart from the stereo separation of the voices, this story of mothers blown off course skillfully lays bare all of the doubts, regret, guilt, feelings of not being good enough… and the desire to go back in time.



Shaking off the shackles of society’s expectation that they thrive in their new role as mothers, these participants seem to free themselves from the rubble of their collapse simply by daring to speak, leaving the horror and the nightmares behind them.



Some documentaries have the power to heal. L’effondrement is one of them. We strongly suggest watching it with headphones.




Jenny Cartwright
Documentarian and audio artist



Item 1 of 4
Item 1 of 4

Item 1 of 4