About Prince of Dreams
“Prince of Dreams” takes us on a ten-year adventure in the life of Erik.
We join Erik on his pilgrimage and revisit the long journey that brought him to the ends of the earth – flashbacks of sorrow, joy, and hope. Most importantly, this is a tale of self-acceptance, of discovering that it truly is possible to be loved for who you are.
It's hard not to feel for Erik, whose innate kindness is present in everything he does as we follow him from the age of 17 to 27. But Erik also displays a good portion of humour and intelligence: “Tomorrow, a shot in the ass will kick off a new chapter in my life”, he confides in us.
The hormones make his voice go deeper and his Adam’s apple begins to grow. It’s a transformation that also makes Erik feel like he’s somehow lost a twin. Childhood trauma has gouged deep wounds into his soul.
As an adult, Erik channels his demons into art and his clay figures are even exhibited at a gallery. But success doesn’t make it all go away - Erik is struck by a panic attack at work, while he’s vacuuming the aisle of a church.
It becomes increasingly more difficult to navigate this complexity and body dysphoria. Not even the love of Martyna, his outspoken yet deeply caring girlfriend, can help him with the raging inner chaos. In order to cope, he goes to see an order of Dominican sisters in Rögle and later on, during his pilgrimage, he encounters a Catholic monk from the Taizé community.
By the time the green valleys of Taizé open up under the sun, Erik’s spiritual journey is well on its way. For months, he’s been hiking through physical and mental terrain to find out why he is so anxiety-ridden.
Somewhere in the Spanish mountains, seated around a fire in a dirt-floored hut, four young pilgrims are holding a ceremony. Erik is in charge. He asks his new friends to write down things they wish to leave behind and put the note in the fire. Will he return home? Does he find peace of mind? Can he love himself?
Jessica Nettelbladt hopes that “Prince of Dreams” will increase awareness and understanding about gender dysphoria - how deeply it affects a person growing up - and that it will inspire discussions about identity, mental health, and belonging.
“Prince of Dreams” took ten years in the making. Though the themes are serious, the film itself is vibrant, brimming with love and humour. By journalist Moa Skimutis.