CHILDREN OF THE LOWEST HEAVEN
CURRENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT
Expected release: TBA 2021 (Denmark)
Genre: Documentary feature
Directed by: Birgitte Stærmose
Production Company: Magic Hour Films (DK) in co-production with Vilda Bomben Film (SE) and Kabineti Sh.p.k (KO)
Being developed with support from the Danish Film Institute
Production Country: Denmark, Sweden, Kosova
'Children of the Lowest Heaven' is a hybrid feature film, and an extension of the short film 'Out of Love' from 2009, which featured an ensemble of street kids in Kosovo. 'Children of the Lowest Heaven' features the same children - now young adults - and focuses on their transition to adulthood in postwar Kosovo as they try to create a life for themselves in Europe’s youngest, poorest and most corrupt nation. The film will be a staged tale of destinies, walking a thin line between documentary and fiction, drawing from both the old material and new material filmed in Kosovo 2019. The aim is to create a sense of hyper reality in an epic film, which also contains tales of religion, fundamentalism, and escape.
'Out of Love' portrayed children who sold cigarettes and peanuts in the streets and bars. Their destinies and losses emerged as they whispered their staged monologues into the murky shadows of Pristina, framed by DOP Marek Wieser’s confrontational and radically intimate tableaus. The monologues were based on thorough research and interviews, written by the director in cooperation with now late playwright Peter Asmussen.
The goal was to make a film that did not evoke pity but allowed the children to confront the audience with their testimonies in a staged reality that enhanced their inner life and the soul of the film, giving them a common history and emotional and political testament. Stylistically, the new film will follow in the footsteps of the first film, expanding the cinematographic methods used and prolonging the stylization into scene material and observational material while still preserving the sense of elevated reality.