This remarkable Belgian short (not so short in fact: 25 minutes are more than enough to go deep into the subject) deals with the relationships between a mother and her teenage daughter. When the film begins, the viewer is made to think that if there is tension between the two characters, it is for the usual reasons, inherent in the girl's stage of evolution. The mother, ironically called 'Mamaman' ('Mymummy') in the title, blames her daughter for sleeping too late, for not coming back home immediately after school, for getting bad grades at school, for phoning too much, for bringing her boyfriend home, the lot actually exactly what millions of helpless parents reproach their teenage kids for, which, exasperating as it is, is in the nature ofthings and will not compromise their future relationships with their offspring once the crisis is over. But as the story unfurls, we gradually realize that the origin of the problem is THE MOTHER, NOT THE DAUGHTER as it could appear from the start. Indeed, for all the good reasons she has to be annoyed, her responses to the causes of friction are disproportionate and her demands are excessive and unreasonable. She wants to control the girl's every move and as her rebellious daughter won't let her do it she becomes more and more nasty and cruel (I think in particular of the scene in which she humiliates her daughter's naked boyfriend). Her failure to be a respected despot (she vainly asks her girl for respect whereas she does not respect her herself) is so big that the only solution she finds is vengeance. The ending is both shocking and cathartic, but I will let the viewer discover it forthemselves and comes as a masterly conclusion to this tale of ordinary madness.
The two actresses, Circé Lethem as young Julie, and Laetitia Reva as her monstrous mother, are peerless. And Iao Lethem, the director, excels in making uneasiness rise from an everyday life atmosphere. Recommended.
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