A new documentary from esteemed documentary film-maker Christina Rosendahl, Violently in Love is set within a sheltered residence that provides a place to stay for those who have been exposed to violence in close relationships. Rosendahl carefully depicts these women, not providing much insight into how they came to end in the shelter or what their partner did to them, but rather focuses on the healing process the shelter provides. The employees help the women heal and rebuild their self-confidence so they can move out of the shelter and start a new life for themselves and their children.

The documentary is told through a series of sessions that several of the women go through, and we follow some that have lived in the shelter for years, and some that have just arrived. Rosendahl stated in a Q&A that she carefully screened the women that were selected, sure that the documentary wouldn’t damage them further. It’s certainly affective in depicting how these women heal, and Rosendahl has been very careful in how she frames each story.

This review is in the March issue of Cinema Scandinavia. 


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  • Directed by Christina Rosendahl
Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.