Mollie Faustman was not only the mother of the famous director Eric ”Hampe” Faustman. When Hampe was born in 1919, Mollie was 36 years old, an artist apprentice of Carl Wilhelmson at the Valand Academy of Art and Design in Gothenburg 1905-08 and also studied under Matisse in Paris in 1910. The same year she also debuted as a children’s book author with ”Malins midsommar – Ritad och rimmad” (“Malin’s Midsummer – Drawn and Rhymed”.
However, it was not until the 1920s, when she in her marriage to the newspaper cartoonist Gösta Chatham had the children ”Tuttan” (birth name Marian) and Hampe, that she won recognition as an artist and a writer. She was part of the artist group Optimisterna (”The Optimists”) 1924-32 and after that joined another group, Independenterna (”The Independents”). She had solo exhibitions, at among other places The Society of Swedish Artists and the Färg och Form art gallery and is today represented at most major Swedish museums. Her reoccurring motifs are landscapes in bright colours and portraits of children and friends.
Her authorship now continued with ”Mina barn är vackra barn” (“My children are beautiful children”, 1923), and in the Dagens Nyheter daily she published both the cartoon series “Tuttan & Pelle” – with her own children as a model – as well as her informal columns, written under the signature Vagabond. Both became very popular.
The film work was limited to two short films, Nya människor (”New People”, 1935), and Det viktigaste (”The Most Important”, 1936). The films are unfortunately not preserved and the only notes that exist are that they are produced at SF, Svensk Filmindustri. The first-mentioned film was made in collaboration with Knut Martin, a diligent director of journal and commissioned films throughout the 1930s. We know nothing about the length and content of the films, but probably also these were commissioned films of some kind.
Otherwise, I can only contribute with a personal memory – which would also turn out to be Mollie Faustman’s last contribution to film. I had started the film magazine Chaplin in 1959. Hampe Faustman died in 1961 and in the January issue of 1963 we had a longer essay about Faustman and a complete index of all his roles and films. Some time later, Mollie called me up on the telephone and wanted me to visit her. She lived in the Old Town in one of the most original homes I have seen. It consisted of three small rooms – on three floors! She said that she was so happy that Hampe’s life’s work had been remembered and wanted to institute a Hampe Faustman scholarship of SEK 5,000 – and the first such scholarship would go to the magazine Chaplin. As it was a non-profit magazine with no financial resources, the sum was more than welcome. As far as I know, there was no more scholarship. Mollie Faustman died a couple of years later.
Bengt Forslund (2018)
(translated by Jan Lumholdt, 2021)
Main profession: Director
Det viktigaste (1936)
Nya människor (1935)
Nya människor (1935)