NÉ À BELFOND – HIDDEN BORN (AT)

A DOCUMENTARY BY CHRISTA MIRANDA

«La Kinderfabrik» is what locals called the birthplace for single young pregnant women in the Jura. Secluded and hidden, mothers like Agnes gave birth, children like Nicole and Urs were born and adopted.

Agnes becomes pregnant at the age of 16. Because no one is allowed to find out, she is shipped across Switzerland to a home for mothers and babies in the Jura. She is not allowed to see the baby after it is born; it is given up for adoption against her will.

A little later, Nicole is born in the same home in Belfond. She is placed in a foster home, which subsequently adopts her. Later, she searches for and finds her biological mother and discovers that her wealthy biological father has bought his way out with a contract of silence.
Urs is also born and adopted in Belfond. At a ripe old age, he discovers his biological cousin and the circumstances of his birth.

Agnes, Nicole and Urs are three of numerous people who experienced life breaks in this place, or whose lives began here with drama. The 920 children who were born here between 1952 and 1978 will probably never know exactly what happened here; many records have been destroyed. The Catholic community of sisters Seraphisches Liebeswerk Solothurn (SLS) ran the home.
Why did the unmarried pregnant women come here? What was everyday life like? How did the children come to be adopted, and what effects did the difficult start have on their further lives?

The film centers on the now-empty building and the town of Belfond. Agnes dives into the memories of a relentless youth full of violence and prohibitions, Nicole and Urs follow the traces of her birth and find clues as well as new questions. An elderly midwife, the neighbors, sisters of the SLS and other witnesses describe their view of the history of the birthplace for “fallen girls” in Belfond.

Ines
Urs
Nicole
«Foyer St-Joseph» in Belfond (1952-1978)

Media file Poster

Documentary, 58min, SRF, Sternstunde Religion, 3sat

Written and directed by: Christa Miranda
Camera: Daniel Leippert
Sound on the set: Olivier JeanRichard, Nadja Gubser
Music: Sandra Stadler
Edit: Mirjam Krakenberger
Colour Grading: Peche Guyer, Rec-TV
Soundedit: himex Sounddesign
Audiomix:  Peter von Siebenthal

Producer: Pedro Haldemann, Insertfilm AG
Co-Production:  SRF Sternstunde Religion, 3sat