During World War II, more than 70,000 Finnish children were evacuated to neutral Sweden to avoid the conflict. From the award-winning Klaus Härö (Elina: As If I Wasn't There (2002)), "Mother of Mine" tackles that painful patch of history in a tale of 9-year-old Eero, a child who increasingly feels abandoned by his biological Finnish mother and yet not attached to his Swedish surrogate mom. When he is returned to Finland, his confusion intensifies.Written by
English Name: Mother of Mine. A Very Special Movie
I saw this at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival today to a sell-out crowd with a very engaging Finnish director, Klaus Härö present. This film had real heart and honesty. It can and should be appreciated both in and outside of Scandanavia.
The film highlights a significant event in Finnish history -- that during WWII, around 70,000 Finnish children were sent to Sweden among other countries to be temporarily hosted as their real parents stayed in Finland to continue in the war. The story is made accessible and immediate by taking us through the experiences of one child -- Eero (Topi Majaniemi) -- who as a 9-year old boy is dealing with language differences, a desire to return home, and a host family that can provide materially, but maybe not in the non-material ways that Eero really needs.
That the film stays true to the viewpoints and desires of the child really makes this movie work. From the opening sequences, the warring environment was clear. As the movie continued, the sense of the unknown, a certain amount of foreboding and the ever-present desire to connect with family was also subtly introduced to give a very full sense of the conflict within this child's mind. The soundtrack nicely complemented everything the movie was going for.
This is a great total package with a movie that is assured, concise and crafted from a very fine director. This film gets my recommendation. Moreover, I'm very much looking forward to seeing the next film from this decidedly capable director!
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