Official Selection: 'The Shift'
SZS Fest Madrid 2022

Official Selection: ‘The Shift’

Serielizados Fest premieres in Spain this Danish medical drama directed by Lone Scherfig, starring Sofie Gråbøl.

Birth is one of the few experiences we all share. Helping to bring a new life into the world is a job that is far from mundane. In The Shift we meet a group of midwives in the maternity ward of a Danish hospital. A close-knit team that performs their work with conviction and good ideals, but all too often the pressure and the enormous mental and physical strain of the job pushes them to their personal limits.

“The Shift’ comes as a tribute to Denmark’s healthcare workers,” said creator Lone Scherfig, “They all have a great sense of teamwork. I feel very grateful for the Danish healthcare system,” she added.

Scherfig returns to tell us the story of Ella (Sofie Gråbøl), the maternity director. A woman, who in addition to being responsible for all the contingencies that arise every hour in the hospital, has to manage the weight of her own personal problems.

Ella (Sofie Gråbøl) in The Shift

To document the work of midwives, Gråbøl had the opportunity to visit the maternity ward of a hospital on numerous occasions. In order to be as realistic as possible, direction and production were also advised by a midwife at all times, who checked the scripts and the final result on screen.

The Shift’ highlights the precarious situation of midwives in Denmark

Both the creator and the leading actress took advantage of the premiere of The Shift to show their disagreement and make visible the precarious situation of midwives in Denmark. A guild that is paid less than nurses or teachers, despite the importance of their work, and the physical and emotional wear and tear that this entails.

Deeply feminist, this is a series that is set in the field of life, parent-child relationships and medical drama. Something that forces the characters to show the best and the worst of themselves, a dynamic that allows the director to explore our society and its fundamental values from a naturalistic and social perspective.

Screening of the first chapter.
Original version (Danish) with Spanish subtitles.