Though its focus remains tight on its main subject — a Russian single mother of nine — Antoine Cattin and Pavel Kostomarov’s award-winning film has the scope, precision and resonance of a literary masterpiece.
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Midwife: Wait while I put on my gown.
Mother: But the baby's already coming!?
[Midwife put the child back in. Enter Doctor.]
Doctor: What's going on here?
Mother: The baby was coming but she pushed him back.
Doctor [to Midwife]: Bitch, are you nuts?
Midwife: I didn't have my gown.
Doctor: Fuck your gown!
La Mere is a biographical document proper. It can make you chuckle, smile, sigh and maybe even cry.
"A literary masterpiece" indeed, though at certain points I kept wondering about the ethics of it, on the directors' part. But overall, genius editing! As I'm guessing from the film, the directors must have spent quite some years with the family and they managed to compile all the footage in a very smart way.
This film completely dispelled my naive romantic view of life in the Russian provinces. It's seemingly a life of alcoholism,brutality,poverty yet conversely one of extreme warmth and love. The mother and her children had nothing materially yet an incredible amount in terms of their love for each other; there is a lesson in that for all of us in the richer parts of the world.
A beautiful,beautiful film.
A very nice documentary. It's really interesting to see their lives. The mother is doing everything to provide the children so they are not hungry and cold. And while it's hard to maintain that, she's gives all her love and that's what's so nice to see here.