Trailer Watch: Lone Scherfig Returns to the Berlinale with Maternity Ward Drama “The Shift”

A trailer has dropped for Lone Scherfig’s latest project, and this time she’s in the showrunner’s chair. Set in “the best maternity ward” in Denmark, “The Shift” portrays the ups, downs, and intense pressures of the short-staffed, overworked unit headed up by midwife Ella (Sofie Gråbøl), who is secretly yearning for her own child .

Created and written by Scherfig, the series has been selected as part of the Berlinale Series strand. In the trailer, which comes courtesy of Variety, we see Ella and her co-workers struggle with the demands of the job, and the emotional highs and lows that can come with striving to safely deliver babies.

“Birth is like a reverse traffic accident,” we hear Ella explaining to an intern. “[There’s] the blood, the screams, but in the end, one more person than you started out with. ”

The trail also hints at personal issues among the team: a secretive office affair, and concerns that one of the midwives might be pushing patients to refuse pain medication.

The series marks a return for Scherfig to projects in her native Danish, following her English language work that includes “An Education,” – for which she was nominated for a Best Director BAFTA award – “The Riot Club,” and “Their Finest. ” Her earlier work includes “Italian for Beginners.” Coming up, she has Bérénice Bejo-starrer “The Movie Teller.” Scherfig’s last film, “The Kindness of Strangers,” opened the Berlinale’s 2019 edition.

Gråbøl is well known for her star turn in Scandi police drama “The Killing,” for which she won a BAFTA award – her other credits include “Fortitude,” “Gentleman Jack,” and “The Undoing.”

“The Shift” is due to premiere in Denmark in the spring. No word yet on when to expect a US premiere. The 2022 Berlinale will take place February 10-20.

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