Lotje Sodderland: Where is Brain Hemorrhage Survivor Now?

In the 2016 biographical documentary, ‘My Beautiful Broken Brain,’ Lotje Sodderland presents the course of her daunting recovery journey after she sustains an inter-cerebral brain hemorrhage at the age of 34. Inviting the viewers to become spectators to moments from her personal life, the young filmmaker brings her experiences and emotions to the screen, showcasing the complexities surrounding such life-changing medical complications. Therefore, as one accompanies her and her family — brother, Jan, and mother, Hente — on this intimidating but ultimately inspiring tale, one can’t help but wonder where life has taken Sodderland after the credits on the documentary roll.

Lotje Sodderland Gained a New Sense of Self

Although ‘My Beautiful Broken Brain’ only follows Lotje Sodderland a few months after the brain hemorrhage overturned her previous regular life, she continued walking the path toward her recovery for much longer. After the stroke, the filmmaker’s brain developed a communication disorder called Aphasia, which affects her ability to express herself through mediums like writing, reading, and speaking. Consequently, the drastic change affected her everyday life. Sodderland discussed the same experience with Aphasia SG in 2020, years after the incident. “I had to figure out for myself that I was never going to be the same as before — and find out how can I work with the new me and see the beauty and positivity in my new limitations,” she said.

The same filtered out certain friends from Sodderland’s life but strengthened her ties with other close friends, like Lucy and Anita, and her family, who accepted her for who she is. Consequently, with a strong support system and access to some helpful tools, Sodderland was able to undertake her recovery journey with optimism. Notably, things like Occupational therapy, meditation, and mindfulness classes at a Buddhist center helped her regain a sense of normalcy and identity.

Likewise, working on her communication skills through speech and language therapy also remained significantly helpful in her experience. “I regained my speaking skills and used the filmmaking process as a central tool to figure out who I was through images and sounds,” said Sodderland. “I encourage patients to find creative or unique outlets to express themselves and understand their emotions in non-traditional ways other than writing and reading.” As such, her ties to filmmaking ended up helping her develop an understanding of herself following her transformative journey.

Lotje Sodderland Currently Works as an Independent Director

After documenting a deeply personal story in her film, ‘My Beautiful Broken Brain,’ which ended up winning the DOC U! Award in 2014, Lotje Sodderland remained a part of the filmmaking world. Before her run-in with a brain hemorrhage, the young filmmaker used to be a producer, aiding others in their projects. However, afterward, tasks like budgeting and multitasking— cornerstones of the producing profession— became things Sodderland couldn’t perform any longer. For the same reason, she decided to leave her life as a producer behind and picked up a teenage dream of hers— directing. Therefore, she currently works as an independent director, interested in telling stories through the visual media.

In 2018, Sodderland hosted another documentary project, ‘Can You Rebuild My Brain?.’ Likewise, she retained relevance in the genre by directing a Snehalaya NGO documentary that revolved around child sex trafficking survival. By 2021, she also added a short film to her portfolio with ‘Limbo,’ a title received enthusiastically by the viewers. As per her personal website, the short even helped her secure a Film4 commission for a feature film, ‘The Raptures.’ Additionally, Sodderland is working on another documentary feature with BFI Doc Society called ‘Labour and Love,’ which is currently under development. Thus, since her debut with ‘My Beautiful Broken Brain,’ the filmmaker has found a space to explore her directing aspirations.

Lotje Sodderland Is Married and Has a Kid

As depicted in the documentary, a year after her medical accident, Lotje Sodderland met a man whom she ended up marrying. Sometime in the early 2020s, the couple welcomed a daughter, Nola, into the world, becoming a family of three. Likewise, the filmmaker continues to possess healthy and happy ties with her brother, Jan, and mother, Hente. Since she remains fond of chronicling snippets from her family life on social media— sharing photographs of her friends and family alike— fans can rely on regular updates on the same.

Likewise, Sodderland seems to enjoy taking vacations with her family and traveling to foreign countries to gain new adventures and experiences. Recently, the family undertook a trip to Thailand, where they visited places like Koh Lanta and Bangkok’s Sampheng neighborhood. As such, her Instagram remains filled with artistic shots interspersed with personal moments from her life, showcasing a visual depiction of the filmmaker’s life. Recently, Sodderland and her husband celebrated their young daughter’s birthday, adding to their treasure trove of familial experiences.

Outside of her career and her personal life, Sodderland also remains a crucial voice in mental health discussions, providing invaluable insight into neurological rehabilitation protocols and other neurological topics. Currently, she’s looking forward to Central Saint Martins workshops lined up for July of this year, where she will be discussing neurodiversity, creativity, and their intersection. Ultimately, Sodderland has found a groove in her life. “After the stroke and the making ‘My Beautiful Broken Brain,’ I learn[ed] to live in a more meaningful and simple way,” she said. “Before, I always felt like I was searching for something. I led a very happy and fun life, but there was a slight sense that it wasn’t a meaningful one. Now, I have discovered a more peaceful way of life which I’m really grateful for.”

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