4 user 9 critic

Motherland (2009)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 6 March 2009 (USA)
2:22 | Trailer

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Six American mothers, each grieving the death of a child, journey to South Africa to volunteer with impoverished children. The strength of the people they meet and the reality of the ... See full summary »


Jennifer Steinman Sternin (as Jennifer Steinman)
2 wins. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Debbi Berto Debbi Berto
Barbara Crandall Barbara Crandall
Mary Helena Mary Helena
Kathy Jimenez Kathy Jimenez
Anne Magill Anne Magill
Lauren Warner Lauren Warner


Six American mothers, each grieving the death of a child, journey to South Africa to volunteer with impoverished children. The strength of the people they meet and the reality of the poverty they witness deeply affects them. They ultimately discover hope and healing as a result of serving others, and through the unexpected friendships they form with each other. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Six Women. Two Continents. A Journey of Hope and Healing.




Not Rated


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

6 March 2009 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Oudtshoorn, South Africa See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Smush Media See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Moving film about loving, losing and living
14 January 2010 | by molly_13See all my reviews

I don't usually place on-line movie reviews. However, I found Motherland to be such a moving, rich, well-done documentary film that I felt compelled to write a review.

Motherland takes a very difficult subject -- the untimely death of children -- and bravely explores the grieving process of their mothers. The film dares to do what most films, and American culture as a whole, fails to do -- it talks about death and grief in a real way. Most significantly, it gets us -- the audience -- to talk about death and grief as well. This film reminds us that grieving and mourning are processes, that these processes looks different for each person, and that sometimes simply piercing the veil of silence that frequently surrounds traumatic loss can be incredibly healing.

Setting this film in Africa was an interesting and brave choice by the filmmaker. Unlike another reviewer, I don't believe bringing American women to Africa exploited Africans or capitalized on grief. To the contrary, I think the juxtaposition of a handful of American women consumed by grief from the tragic loss of their children within an entire continent plagued by untimely death is a gentle reminder that there is always something larger than one's own self even when tragedy obscures the ability to look beyond one's own misfortune.

While I think filming the movie in Africa was powerful, ultimately, I believe this film could have taken place anywhere, because at its heart, Motherland is about the power of relating and the healing capacity of human connection.

Motherland gently and respectfully recounted the individual stories of 6 women while simultaneously telling universal stories of love, loss, compassion and healing.

I highly recommend this film.

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