Eva Linder

The Story of Birgitta
video, 34 minutes, 2004

Birgitta has been working all her life. Now 77, she still enjoys running the tiny company she originally began with her husband in order to manufacture the bead mat, which he invented and patented decades before. She handles the challenges she now faces as a widow and a female company head with thoughtful straightforwardness - while nothing can replace the loss of a loved one, companies should be like family, and work should give you something to do.
(text from 13th New York Underground Film Festival programme)

The documentary The Story of Birgitta is a portrait of Birgitta, the widow of the man who invented the bead mat. Birgitta is 77 years old and still running their tiny company with two employees. The film shows through her story not only the history of the bead mat but also a taste of the vanishing industrial era of Sweden. Birgitta and her husband never got rich from his invention. Big companies started producing the bead mat, not caring that the small company in a basement in Stockholm held the patent (and couldn't afford to sue them all). 

In the video Birgitta also tells the story of being a female head of a company and what it's like becoming a widow. As a female boss you're questioned and as a widow you're no longer invited to dinner parties.