A Girl, A Boy, A Cat, A Mouse

That ought to be very simple: a girl, a boy, a cat, a mouse. Pil Maria Gunnarsson’s short film "The Mouse" is a deeply touching story about the hesitant beginnings of love, powerful jealousy and loss of innocence, based on an experience from the director’s childhood. The film has been in the pipelines for a long time, and the result is a tight and powerful children’s drama with a carefully crafted visual concept.

10-year-old Liv starts dating her classmate Mike. Mike gives Liv a little white mouse as a present. This mouse is very important to Mike, and he tamed it all by himself.

Back at school, Mike is talking to Liv’s friend, the popular girl in class, and Liv finds herself getting jealous. In her powerlessness towards this strange emotion, Liv takes out her frustration on the mouse. She leaves it with her cat and closes the door behind her.
The mouse gets badly injured.


Born 1974, Denmark. Graduated as a film director from the School of Film Directing at Göteborg University, 2002. Made her first children’s film in 2004, the short "Always on a Tuesday". Has written and directed several other short fiction films and documentaries.

Founded 1992. Until 2004, when Cosmo Doc was founded, activities had encompassed both fiction and documentary. Releases in 2009: "Curse of the Seeress" (Mogens Hagedorn).

When Liv discovers that Mike is still only interested in her, it’s too late to save the mouse. The mouse dies, and Liv gets embarrassed about what happened. In order to avoid telling Mike the truth about how the mouse died, Liv ends up breaking up with him.


“My idea for the film originates in a personal experience from my childhood,” says director Pil Maria Gunnarsson, who wrote the story in collaboration with screenwriter Rum Malmros.

“I was eleven years old, and I had got my first boyfriend. He gave me a little white mouse in a matchbox and told me that it could do a whole bunch of tricks. I remember getting that mouse as a major event. It wasn’t merely a present but also a living thing that I had to take care of.

“The film is about the first, early encounter with love and about daring to stand by one’s emotions. In the girl’s universe, it’s ok to break up with her boyfriend, whereas it is not ok to be responsible for the death of an animal. I believe that, at a time in life when one is learning to relate to others, the fact that there are some things one needs to hide – that’s a tough experience to make. Sometimes, the simple act of telling the truth seems completely unmanageable. The girl in the film thinks it’s easier to break up with the boy than to tell him what happened to the mouse.

“It’s a simple story that shows how difficult it can be to stand by oneself and one’s actions. The film is about fundamental human experiences that one needs to make in order to be present in the world as oneself”.

Pil Maria Gunnarsson