To Be a Child Forever
Malene Sorensen is almost grown up, 19 years old, has moved away from home. Inside she remains a little girl.
If you know the fascination of what goes on inside the head of a little child that sits banging a spoon against a plastic bowl, you also know the fascination of how Malene sees the world. Her enthusiasm of small and big things make you wonder if she experiences the world as if new every moment. At the same time she knows it very well. She knows how to make the sign language signs for ice cream, candy and cakes and knows that with a little luck they will work. She knows that the colorful DVDs on the shelves next to her parents’ French window contain cartoons and other funny movies. She goes around looking through the windows of the institution Svanehuset for hours when she has been told that her parents will visit her that day. And she jumps up and down laughing when they finally arrive. She also knows that the dentist is dangerous, which makes it impossible to get her in the dentist’s chair if she hasn’t been given a sedative. If she needs to have cavities filled she is put under general anaesthesia.
Malene is mentally handicapped, she has epilepsy and she suffers from a mild degree of spastic paralysis. It is unclear why she is handicapped. Perhaps it is due to a birth injury or a chromosome disorder.
She grew up at home with her mother Jannie, her father Hans, her bigger brother Mogens and her bigger sister Maria. Now she lives in the institution Svanehuset in Copenhagen. She has her own room and a small, protected world that she knows well and feels at home in.