What happens when roles reverse and parents
suddenly become dependent on their children?
A son is forced to confront this question
along with the consequences of his migration.

Written and directed by: Nikola Ilić, Corina Schwingruber Ilić

Country: Switzerland

Year: 2021

Duration: 78 min

Category: Doc

Language: Swiss-German, Serbian 

Fifteen years ago, Nikola left Serbia to follow his heart to Switzerland. Since then his life is shared between two countries and three women: His mother, his grandmother and his wife. His mother Dida has learning disabilities and has been dependent on the grandmother since ever. As grandmother is getting older, Belgrade is now calling Nikola back home.
He can’t let his mother down, but he doesn’t want to give up his life in Switzerland. This forces him to face a moral dilemma: How can he help his mother to live a life of independence without losing his own.
A heartwarming and amusing documentary about a son who’s trying to step into his grandmother shoes.


Directors' biography

Nikola Ilić
Born in Belgrad. Nikola Ilić is a director and cinematographer living between Serbia and Switzerland. 2010 he majors in Video at the Lucerne School of Art and Design. He’s the co-director of KOD ĆOŠKA (2013) and JUST ANO- THER DAY IN EGYPT (2015). Also his latest short RAKIJADA (2016) was shown all over the world and won various prices. He‘s the DOP of the well received short ALL INCLUSIVE (2018) by Corina Schwingruber Ilić.


Corina Schwingruber Ilić
Corina Schwingruber Ilić studied at the University of Arts in Basel, in Belgrade, and at the Lucerne School of Art and Design. She has shot a num- ber of award-winning short docs together with Nikola Ilic, such as KOD KOD ĆOŠKA (2013) or JUST ANOTHER DAY IN EGYPT (2015). Her shorts BAGGERN (2011) and INS HOLZ (Co-director: Thomas Horat, 2017) beca- me festival hits, ALL INCLUSIVE (2018) was selected at over 200 festivals such as Venice, Toronto and Sundance and was honoured with the Golden Dove of DOK.Leipzig among many other awards

Director's note

Fifteen years ago, I moved away from my grandmother and mother to another country, following my heart to Switzerland. But when my grandmother died, I was suddenly needed in my old home country. Like many others I was now confronted with the question: What happens with my parents, when they are suddenly depending on help?
I feel torn between my responsibility and my independence, duty and freedom, torn between Serbia and Switzerland. I feel guilty and face cultural and moral issues more than ever. I share this fate with many other immigrants. Most of them have family expectations and responsibilities, because in both countries society expects from you to take care of your family. I am a part of this generation and with this film I wish to point out to a very important part of immigration.
Co-directing with my wife Corina is essential in dealing with this topic. Our two points of view reflect two different perspectives, as we come from two different cultures. Conflicts arise again and again, especially with this personal film.


Original title: Dida

Directors: Nikola Ilić, Corina Schwingruber Ilić

Cinematography: Corina Schwingruber Ilić, Nikola Ilić

Editing: Myriam Flury

Music: Heidi Happy

Producer: Franziska Sonder, Karin Koch

Production Company: Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion AG, SRF Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen, SRG SSR

Festivals & Awards


– Golden Funnel Award (Development Award), Ex Oriente 2016, Institute of documentary film, Prague.

– Young Onion Award (Best First Feature Doc), MakeDox International Film Festival 2021 (Macedonia)

– Jury Special Mention, BELDOCS – Int. Documentary Film Festival 2021 (Serbia)

– GOLDEN DOVE Audience Award, DOKleipzig Int. Film Festival 2021

– Zurich Film Award (Best Feature Doc), City of Zurich Festival

-Zagrebdox  Big Stamp Award, regional competition 2022

-Underhill Fest Audience Award 2022

– SEE FEST Best Documentary Award 2022