Sunday, December 11, 2016

IFFK Bytes: Strange Heaven- Turns Hell on Earth

Strange Heaven is for me a horror movie without any element that was horrific in it. A few minutes into the movie and getting a hint of how it's going to progress, I was staring the screen in disbelief. It looked liked a page torn from a Dystopian novel, but was in-fact based on existing laws of a country.

Strange Heaven is the story of a Polish couple and their daughter who immigrated to Sweden. Swedish law takes special care that kids get their rights and aren't treated bad by parents. They can call a helpline in case of any parental troubles and state discreetly takes care of the issue. A lawyer's statement makes it clear that parents most of the time never get back the children who are placed under foster care.

The daughter stumbles upon her parents having sex and mistakes it for a fight. She calls the helpline and as a result, a social worker, who takes her job a bit too seriously,  suspecting domestic violence, initiates the process to keep the kid under foster care of a couple whose kid died in an accident. The movie is about the plight of parents and their desperate efforts to get their kid back.

I was too shocked that such a thing is even possible. What is scary is that without getting parent's point of view or solid evidence of any misconduct to the child, such an action may be taken, causing insufferable pain to all concerned. It is the classic case where a law that is meant to emotionally guard a child, is executed in an emotionless manner. The enforcers repeatedly advice parents not to be emotional. And they prohibit any physical contact during allowed visits under observation of guards.

While watching the movie, I didn't care about anything other than the mental trauma undergone by the family. It was heart wrenching.

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