In 1909, in an undemocratic Sweden, a bastard child is born and given the name of Hervor. Her mother is unmarried, due to which she is called a ”whore" and is driven from her home. Hervor grows up at shelters and orphanages, unwanted, rejected by society. As an adult she spends her life struggling for social justice. In old age she tells us her unique story.


Director Knutte Wester brings his grandmother's memories to life thought hand painted animated images and has us witness someone being rejected in order to unite others. A story that all too often still repeats itself.

The film premiered at IDFA, the worlds largest and most prestigious documentary film festival. In April it will be screened at Swedish Television and at numerous international film festivals, including the high acclaimed Hot Docs in Toronto, where it will be be screened in the World Shocase program, where the festival aim to screen "the best new films from around the world".

About the film

Original title: Horungen                             Aspect ratio/sound: 16:9/5.1

English title: A Bastard Child                     Screening formats: DCP, ProRes, H264

Duration: 57 min                                         Language: Swedish, english subs

All paintings from the film is now on display at the Nordic Watercolor Museum.

Interest in paintings can be send to Gallery Andersson/Sandström here

North Americas largest documentary film festival, Hot Docs in Toronto, describes the film A Bastard Child in there catalogue like this:

       "In early 20th century Sweden, an unmarried woman gives birth to a baby girl, a great shame to her family and the conservative mores of the time. Labelled a whore, she is forced to place her “bastard” in various shelters, foster families and orphanages, where little Hervor grows up in dire conditions, unwanted by all and rejected from society. Like a real-life version of a Charles Dickens novel, this is the moving childhood story of artist Knutte Wester’s grandmother, who later became a pioneer of women’s rights. Drawing from her vivid recollections, Wester illustrates this extraordinary memoir with a mix of haunting watercolour paintings and poetic archival footage. A testimony to how powerfully animation can bring tales from the past to life, A Bastard Child is also a striking reminder that society always feels the need to create outcasts as a way of uniting its members."