On the occasion of the theatrical release of Ninjababy, we caught up with feminist director Yngvild Sve Flikke to talk about the misconceptions and taboos around motherhood and the choice not to have children.
This Wednesday, September 21, ninjababy hits theaters. Astride between comedy and satire of standards on motherhood and its dictatesthis Norwegian film imposed itself on us as a feminist flash. On the occasion of the release of the film, we spoke with the director of the film, Yngvild Sve Flikke.
Ninjababy, what is it about?
ninjababy immerses us in the life of Rakel, a 23-year-old young woman as ambitious as she is funny, frank and empathetic. This female character from a realism and detonating modernity is like a film that debunks dictates and received ideas about motherhood. Rakel has no desire to be a mother. However, she discovers that she is six months pregnant. Then appears Ninjababy, an animated character out of his notebook, who will make his life hell…
Miss. How did the subject of Ninjababy come about?
Yngvild Sve Flikke. I have two daughters and since becoming a mother, I have noticed the immense pressure that weighs on you as a pregnant woman. In fact, I’ve been thinking about my film for fifteen or sixteen years! Being pregnant is the craziest thing I’ve ever been through. While everyone tells you that you have a nice belly, you are torn between many feelings : of the doubts on becoming a good mother, regret…
I wondered: is it possible of make a fun and interesting movie about a pregnancy ? I wanted to do a comedy on a very serious subject. In ninjababy, emotions rub shoulders with moments that make you laugh out loud. How to do ? In ninjababy, the comedy rubs shoulders with very moving moments. I wanted to do a comedy with a lot of commitment. I wanted people to laugh too because they recognize each other or that they recognize friends or acquaintances. I wanted them out of the cinema in a good moodwhile having a real subject to think about and discuss.
Raquel looks so real. We’re all Rakel or we all have a friend like her. And yet, we see few characters like her in the cinema…
I really had need to see this womanRakel, on the screen. Movies are often filled with stereotypical women. And if you’re not a stereotype, you’re the complete opposite and that doesn’t work either. That’s why I wanted her to be as real as possible. In addition, I have the impression that TV, cinema or Instagram give us to see a very smooth version of the world. So I really wanted the movie be honest and raw. For example, for Rakel, we had no makeup or stylist. We used a liter of olive oil to grease her hair! I wanted her to shower less and less because she just doesn’t have time. It’s good to see normal people.
The theme of the film is extremely topical. Until today, it can be difficult to say that one does not want to be a mother.
Exactly. If you do choosing not to be a motherthe others always allow themselves to give their opinion and you always feel like have to justify yourself. Whereas if you say you want to be a mother, that doesn’t arouse a reaction since it’s simply considered normal. It’s not really accepted that a young woman doesn’t want to be a mother..
Some people who do not wish to be mothers have also told me that this choice attracted looks and reactions of pity! People seemed sorry. We want to answer them: ” Do not be sorry. It’s my choice ! » Why is this so? Why can’t we say, yes, I’m a woman and I don’t want children, especially when we see the world today that makes this choice so understandable ? Me, I’m not sorry about Rakel. That’s also why I wanted to create this character.
Your film clearly shows female desire. This is embodied in particular in much more realistic (and often funny!) sex scenes compared to what we are used to seeing in the cinema.
In movies, I find that sex is often depicted in a sublimated way compared to reality. Often the sex scenes have nothing to do with real life! I also wanted to show thatas women, we also have sexual desire. For example, I would like everyone to be free to approach a man freely if they wish, to put an end to stereotypes. The sex scenes are part of this desire to show real, human characters.
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Featured image credit: © Motlys