Parent-child relationships can be tricky. There is no how-to manual when you become a parent. You kinda just wing it or do it in a way that seems natural to you. Results are often mixed. No one is perfect, but some are just not meant to be parents at all.
Unfortunately here the stakes are quite high. Things that happen in our formative years mark us for life. Sometimes we spend the rest of our lives picking up the pieces from the damage done to us by those who are supposed to take care of and love us. Some remained damaged while others make something out of those experiences. That would be the director of this short film, Nicolaj Kopernikus. Stenofonen is based on his relationship with his father. A father who most would say, based on what we see here, would fall into the maybe you shouldn’t have been a parent category.
As a boy Jorn (Louis Naess-Schmidt) does many different things to get his father’s attention and love. Father and son do not often connect. Jorn loves music. His father does not and further, does not recognize or encourage his son’s talent. Going further, he discourages the boy telling him he is not good enough. Still, despite his father taking away his beloved violin, Jorn finds a way to make music with whatever is around him.
Now as an old man, Jorn (Jesper Christensen – Spectre, The Debt), who has suffered the burden of a father who did not demonstrate love towards him and has also parented his own son that way, rediscovers music. Playing music becomes a way he can escape the wounds of his past.
The 21 minute short is based on Kofernikus’s father’s story and largely takes place in the 1950s when the father was on the verge of becoming a teenager. Though the film can be seen on one hand as a rather depressing one about the scars of bad parenting, I see it as a beautiful reminder of the power – healing – of music. That through many different ways and no matter your age, that redemption is always on the table.