Scheme Birds

Dir. Ellen Fiske, Ellinor Hallin, 2019, 90′ | Sweden, UK

In a small, faded industrial town in Scotland, teenager Gemma begins to live life as an adult as she prepares for motherhood. Even though this remote town is, as Gemma says, a place “where you are either pregnant or incarcerated”, she isn’t unhappy. Her grandfather, who has taken care of her since she was a little girl, breeds pigeons and is teaching Gemma to box. She spends time with her friends, loves her released-from-prison boyfriend, and tries to give her son everything that she herself didn’t receive as a child from her own mother.

In 2005, the UN report on crime concluded that the risk for an inhabitant of Scotland to be seriously injured in a physical assault is percentage-wise one of the highest in the world. In Scotland, specifically, there is a widespread problem with assaults using a knife or other sharp object. Since then there have been broad prevention campaigns, and the number of knife attacks have gone down by half. However, the spread of violence is still very uneven.

September 1-6, 2020
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