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Mother and Son (1997)
"Mat i syn" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  6 February 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,662 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 24 critic

A slow and poignant story of love and patience told via a dying mother nursed by her devoted son. The simple narrative is a thread woven among the deeply spiritual images of the countryside... See full summary »



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4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Aleksei Ananishnov ...
Gudrun Geyer ...


A slow and poignant story of love and patience told via a dying mother nursed by her devoted son. The simple narrative is a thread woven among the deeply spiritual images of the countryside and cottage. Written by Archie Moore <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




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Release Date:

6 February 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mother and Son  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


On the "Opie & Anthony" radio show, comedian Louis C.K. talked about seeing this film at the famous Castro Theater in San Francisco. Incorrectly remembering the title as "Father and Mother", he described it as a Russian film in which nothing happens for long periods of time. He also said that it was worth giving the benefit of the doubt because it was interesting and he'd never seen anything like it. See more »

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User Reviews

20 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've never seen a film like Mother and Son and I think I've been looking for something like it my whole life. It is a hypnotic dream, part myth, part fairy tale, a sad reverie. It's hard to tell from critical response what kind of distribution it got in the West unless it was next to none. Obviously, the subject of death is not what they're looking for in Kansas. But in the few "professional" reviews there is a sense of respect about Mother and Son. Even the most negative of critics ("maddeningly slow and self-conscious, the most rarefied, decadent, overripe kind of 'genius' elitist art") remark about the visual and aural impact it makes.

In Barry Lyndon, Kubrick held those beautiful scenes so the eye could luxuriate in ideal landscapes, the perfect counterpoint to Barry's character. Here Sokurov doesn't just pause but allows us to move into the scenes where faces, bodies, trees hillsides are distorted by life. My favorite scene in Mother and Son, is the one when the son decides to leave his mother on the bench as he returns home for a book of postcards. The son says to wait here. And that is what we do in what seems real time. We wait back in the forest with slumbering mother while the camera slowly adjusts our perspective. I wish I had the chance to be with my parents at their deaths. In a sense Sokurov has given me that opportunity in an idealized form.

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