Debora Elgeholm


SAT 26/10 AT 15:00 FYRIS

In her documentary and essayistic films Debora Elgeholm explores spiritual contexts. She goes searching for places for revival meeting and pilgrimage and apparition, where people have had visions and revelations. Many of her films address the apocalypse and the multifaceted aspects that the concepts of doom and destruction play in religion.

Her films investigate the connection between different societies and different religious persuasions, as well as relationship between individuals and social, political, and religious groups. The films are often based on quotes and interviews, where the personal story is connected to wider contexts, but Elgeholm also examines the lingering memories of places, times, and events.

Childhood faith and myths are considered, as well as different belief systems and the notion of self-actualization through spirituality and religion. Whether it’s children having visions of the Virgin Mary, L. Ron Hubbard’s comparisons between man and computer, or a two-meter high Christ figure appearing when the dust settles after a mine explosion, these fascinating films have a keen and affectionate interest for the individual’s personal story and how they see their place, in this world, and others.

Debora Elgeholm, b 1976, lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. Over the last year she has had a studio residency at Iaspis. Her work has been exhibited in galleries, museums, and at festivals such as Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen and IFFR Rotterdam.

Debora Elgeholm will be present at the screening to talk more about her films.


The expectations for the technical development during the 1950s had an existential dimension. The religious movement of Scientology was started around this time, comparing man to a computer and our memory to a hard drive where everything is saved in complete colour and sound at 25 frames per second. This film mixes quotes from Sigmund Freud, C. G. Jung, and L. Ron Hubbard to form a conversation
around technology and identity, as well as ideas of memory and the unconscious.

SWEDEN 2019. 14 min. DIRECTION: Debora Elgeholm


Conversations with four believers about their thoughts on the Second Coming and the signs that Jesus soon will return to Earth. The film presents a Scandinavian culture where the religious belief in an impending apocalypse is strong. The casual conversations are mixed with the everyday, taking place in homes where interpretation of the evidence is mixed with tea drinking and baking apple pie.

SWEDEN 2012. 25 min. DIRECTION: Debora Elgeholm, Ellen S. Holtskog


In 1946 a rock formation appeared after a mine explosion in the small town Kristineberg, in Northern Sweden. The formation was interpreted as being an image of Christ. Two mine guides share their stories about the occurrence, as well as a personal story about a wedding trip to the mine, and these experiences are linked to a vision of the Virgin Mary outside Stockholm in 2012. The connection between these stories is the photography that was taken as proof that the revelations really happened. At the same time, it is clear how essentially personal these experiences are.

SWEDEN 2017. 20 min. DIRECTION: Debora Elgeholm


Three different events are joined together: the apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima (1917), in Garabandal (1961-1965), and in Medjugorje (1981). What they have in common is that those who saw the apparitions were children. A personal story is created through quotes from the children’s own experiences. The film deals with the feeling of being chosen and the responsibility that comes with being the Virgin Mary’s messenger. Archive material is mixed with contemporary pictures from the locations, which connects them to the present time.

SWEDEN 2018. 8 min. DIRECTION: Debora Elgeholm


Two parallel stories are shown next to each other. One consists of quotes from the book The Pearl of Africa (1949), a travelogue from East Africa, written by the Swedish Pentecostal frontman Lewi Pethrus. For the other story, Elgeholm has used material from her parents who were missionaries in East Africa when she was a child. Besides two travelogues, the film becomes a documentation over a specific time period. Through putting the personal story in dialogue with the historical and exotic image of being true missionaries, the Christian heritage, including the colonialist aspects, becomes clear.

SWEDEN 2020. 12 min. DIRECTION: Debora Elgeholm


  • Ekologiskt te från Pekoe