ArtFactual film

Sarah Cecilie: a film

“Sarah Cecilie” is a 38 minute film about the true and traumatic story of her parental childhood adbuction. The film includes her re–connecting as an adult with her parents and how she resolves to settle down to her own family life.

I called my mother, for the first time, when I was 17. … I just felt so bad and so guilty. … The past has not become any smaller with time … For me, I’m left with devastating bouts of depression and anxiety – and insomnia. And it’s hard to admit that.

The film is a remarkable achievement that brings together Sarah Cecilie’s whole dispersed family life story. Of course, it’s an achievement especially for Sarah Cecilie herself. By reconstructing her childhood past through the making of the film she helped to reconstruct herself and a new future life.

Glenn Gebhard made the film, with support organised by Action Against Abduction (previously PACT: Parents and Children Together). Sudden international parental childhood abduction, like Sarah Cecilie’s, highlights a dramatic level of child and family distress and harm. Sarah Cecilie herself came to see that there was something far wrong with what she was going through – precisely because it was so unusual and extreme.

The more common, less extreme, local kind of stressed family relationships after separation, can be more confusing for children. But less drama can still harm children as troubled conflict and handovers interrupt the family relationships with their parents and wider families too.