19 Janvier 2023
Cry Wolf (Ulven kommer) : danish series dated 2020 written by Maja Jul Larse
In relation to that series about a “borderline 14-year-old teenager” named Holly (Flora Ofelia Hofmann Lindahl) one will find it a pity that the scriptwriter did not choose to question why a teenager decides consciously to destroy her own and only family (1).
Has the scriptwriter been unable to understand it herself ?
That incapacity of hers, is certainly the weakest part of her work. No surprise though since that answering is what makes the difference between a scriptwriter and an author.
Difference between the film industry and literature ?
It is to be noticed that from the scriptwriter there is no point of view on that teenager Holly who is certainly likely to become a "sociopath" (Compulsive storyteller at a very early age... on one occasion her biological father failed to honor an appointment ; she would then decide that he actually died by suicide). For that reason, the teenager appears "gratuitous" as a fictional character.
As for the social worker named Lars (Bjarne Henriksen)... who is, in a way, a "borderline character" too, there again, the scriptwriter has no point of view on him ; point of view which could be… for instance, that “he is not (or rather “is no longer”) fit for the job” and this question too: is a social worker, who has been ill-treated as a child, best employed to deal with "child abuse allegations" cases ?
Perhaps, the main concern of the scriptwriter was to expose how Danish children’s social services function. There again... the scriptwriter has no point of view on that subject even though, we, as viewers, are highly tempted to evaluate their functioning (or rather "their dysfunctioning") negatively even if, in the real world, it is very unlikely that this institution should reach such level of incompetence… as, for instance, the decision taken to allow the return of Holly into her family without having been able to ask and answer the only question that is to be urgently addressed : why is Holly what ( and not who) she is ? And that one also, that comes as a consequence : how dangerous is Holly’s capacity to create major crisis situations ?
Are we then to conclude that Maja Jul Larsen is a "no point of view scriptwriter" through and through ?
Lack of courage ? Incapacity of assuming her own work ?
The teenager Holly has probably understood very early that her father-in-law could be easily driven to become what he is not yet but could well potentially turn out to be if encouraged to : a wife-and-children bully and abuser.
As for the social-worker, Lars, unconsciously (contrary to Holly who is conscious of what she is aiming at and why) he seems also determined to provoke a major crisis as a means, there again unconscious, of reviving vicariously (through the father-in-law as a sort of a “go-between”) the violence he experienced as a child ; violence from which he never departed : indeed, the social-worker Lars aged 50 has no contact with a family that remains invisible, no friend, no partner, no life of his own… except his work and the cases he deals with - cases of family violence, child abuse ; his work is his only family as it were… locked-up, prisoner, as he is, of that environment ; he never made “a life for himself” contrary to his advice to Holly in the last episode.
Lars, a character “absent to himself” we should say ; the only unconscious character of the series by the way ; a series that ends with a shot of Holly’s visage… Holly facing the sea, standing on top of a cliff ; the scriptwriter would have been well inspired to add a smile of triumph, at least… a smile of satisfaction, for her accomplishment ( evil deed ?), on the character’s face which could then have been interpreted as thus : “Now, I’m the one who is in control”… since this is what it certainly is about on the part of Holly, the “borderline teenager” : control and power in a pathological self centredness which originates from a narcissistic personality disorder (2).
The last question is : what is she going to do with that newly acquired power over her family… at least... for what is left of that family ?
We have been given no reason to be optimistic in our answer. The worst is yet to come.
1 - As for the question whether one should always believe a child’s accusation ; it really is a bogus question since everybody will agree that we all lie : adults, children, teenagers...
The questions that really matter are the following ones : why we lie (children in particular in the context of this series) ; and : why some adults tend to disbelieve children's testimony ?
2 - Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health condition in which people have an unreasonably high sense of their own importance. They need and seek too much attention and want people to admire them. People with this disorder may lack the ability to understand or care about the feelings of others.
Series available on ARTE-TV.com https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/RC-022923/cry-wolf/ up to the 26th of march 2023.