In FOR SOMEBODY ELSE, we follow three women on an emotional and thought-provoking journey as they lend their bodies and carry someone else’s child. They invite us in, sharing their expectations and experiences with us; before, during and after pregnancies as surrogate mothers. The story takes place in California, one of the few places in the world where commercial surrogacy is legal and where an increasing number of Europeans travel to hire a surrogate mother.
Festivalss: Göteborg IFF
The idea to make For Somebody Else came to me when I met the Swedish woman Ingel, who now has a daughter through surrogacy. She told me about her flight to Los Angeles and a meeting in a parking lot in Bakersfield, where she saw her biological daughter Angelina for the first time, when
she was three days old. Her story amazed me and my thoughts about life and pregnancy were turned upside down.
During a research trip to the US, where I met many surrogate mothers, a complex world unfolded and all of their stories made a very big impression on me. The women are expected to have a great deal of motherly love for the unborn baby, but it is of great importance that they do not bond emotionally with the child. I myself recently became a father of two, and think a lot about the family as a concept and its role in today’s society. I doubt that it’s only money that controls these women’s choice. In some cases, money is of great importance, but there are big risks and painstaking work that relatively do not provide a large income. The money is rather a compensation for lost income, toil and suffering. What is it that makes women accept the role as a surrogate?
California is currently the most unregulated place in the world when it comes to surrogacy. Here, surrogacy is the new normal and people come from all over the world to have babies through surrogate mothers. To be invited into these women’s experiences and stories is, for a large part of the general public, a unique and emotional insight into a world that they have never before encountered. Regardless of what drives the surrogate mothers, this topic is controversial and relevant practically all over the world. These women’s situations concerns us all. Issues surrounding family formation, the woman’s position and future reproduction, are topics I find incredibly exciting and important. I also want to raise questions about expectations the society has on women and families today. The film is told in an investigative and inquisitive way, where the viewer is invited into unknown worlds and new perspectives across social classes.