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Mother and Son (Mutter und Sohn)

Mother and Son

Mother and Son is a love story about the deep affection which exists between a mother and her son. She is seriously ill, her body is feeble, her energy drained. The son nurses her lovingly. He feeds her, sits her out on a bench in front of the house, and reads postcards aloud to her. They remember the time when he was a child and she could not let him out of her sight, being scared that she might lose him. The mother tries to hide from her son her approaching death. She asks to go for a stroll, wanting to be among people - even though she can't walk. Her son carries her through the empty village; a deserted place in which they are the last inhabitants. The landscape in which the mother and son live has a sad beauty to it, its images having more similarity with the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich than those of the glossy superficialities of many films. Only twice does the exterior world appear on the horizon, like a clue that other people do exist and in the form of a locomotive's smoke trail - which only the son sees, gazing at it longingly. When his mother dies, the son is left entirely alone, remaining in a world which can offer him no comfort.


Aleksandr Sokurov was born in Russia in 1951. He studied History and trained until 1979 as a director at the Moscow Film School VGIK. His graduation film The Lonely Voice of Man (1987) was neither officially accepted by the school, nor given the right to be shown – as was the case with all of his films until the democratic reforms in the mid to late 80s -, but did win a Bronze Leopard at Locarno. In 2000, he founded the studio Bereg for non-commercial feature and documentary films. Sokurov has made numerous prize-winning feature films and documentaries, including: Painful Indifference (1987), Days of Eclipse (1988), Elegy from Russia (documentary, 1992), Mother and Son (1997), Moloch (1998), Taurus (2001) Russian Ark (2002), and Father and Son (2003), among others.
Genre Drama, Love Story
Category Feature
Year of Production 1997
Director Aleksandr Sokurov
Screenplay Juri Arabov
Cinematography Alexej Fyodorov
Leda Semyonova
Mikhail Glinka, Otmar Nussio, Giuseppe Verdi
Cast Gudrun Geyer
Producers Thomas Kufus, Martin Hagemann, Katrin Schlösser, Alexandr Golutva
Production Company zero one film, in co-production with öFilm/Berlin, Severnyj Fond/St. Petersburg
Length 82 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 Russian
Subtitled Versions German, English
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Berlin 1997 (Panorama), San Francicso 1997, Toronto 1997, Karlovy Vary 1997, Turin 1997, New York 1997, Montreal 1997, Jerusalem 1997, Locarno 1997
With backing from Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, BMI, Goskino
German Distributor Salzgeber & Co. Medien/Berlin

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