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

 |  Drama  |  6 February 1998 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,521 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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Aleksei Ananishnov ...
Son
Gudrun Geyer ...
Mother
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Storyline

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 <ar.moore@student.qut.edu.au>

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Drama

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6 February 1998 (USA)  »

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Mother and Son  »

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1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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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Featured in The Story of Film: An Odyssey: Episode #1.15 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Epiphany anyone?
13 May 2001 | by See all my reviews

In just over an hour, Sokurov achieves in ‘Mother and Son' a wholly satisfying balance between the aesthetic, emotional, and spiritual elements that inform this simple but extremely profound film. In many ways the film is reminiscent of Andrei Tarkovsky, but where Tarkovsky was more specifically Christian in his metaphysical leanings, Sokurov suggests a kind of "humanist mysticism", an elegiac hymn to the natural rhythms of life and death, and the fragile poignancy of human love. As a celebration of life in the face of death, ‘Mother and Son' portrays the journey we must all eventually face with a simple naturalistic acceptance, and is perhaps the closest thing one might find in cinema to what I can only describe as a sort of "non-religious sacredness".

Sokurov's approach here is very ‘pared-down'. While the dialogue is kept to an absolute minimum, the soundtrack is extremely expressive and is an essential element of the work - the wind, the sea, the "music" of the earth, provide a brilliant counterpoint and commentary to what is seen. The look of the film is remarkable, inspired by the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, but while the images are indeed beautiful, they are never merely "picturesque". From beginning to end, Mother and Son is a work of genius.


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