2 user 14 critic

Mother (2016)

Ema (original title)
This darkly comic crime mystery set in small-town Estonia centers on Elsa, the mother and full time caretaker of Lauri, a teacher who has been in a coma since being shot under shadowy ... See full summary »


Kadri Kõusaar


Leana Jalukse, Kevin McCann (inspired by) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Tiina Mälberg Tiina Mälberg ... Mother
Andres Tabun Andres Tabun ... Father
Andres Noormets Andres Noormets ... Aarne
Siim Maaten ... Lauri
Jaak Prints Jaak Prints ... Andres
Rea Lest ... Riin
Jaan Pehk Jaan Pehk ... Policeman
Getter Meresmaa Getter Meresmaa ... Kimberly
Katrin Kalma Katrin Kalma ... Liina
Marin Mägi Marin Mägi ... Sister (as Marin Mägi-Efert)
Margus Mikomägi Margus Mikomägi ... Ranger
Liis Laigna Liis Laigna ... Doctor
Märten Matsu Märten Matsu ... Karl-Andreas


This darkly comic crime mystery set in small-town Estonia centers on Elsa, the mother and full time caretaker of Lauri, a teacher who has been in a coma since being shot under shadowy circumstances. Attentive in her duties but at the end of her tether, Elsa receives Lauri's visitors-friends, students, his girlfriend, his boss, and others-who come to update the unconscious Lauri on their lives and unburden themselves of their troubles. But as the police inquiry into the crime progresses, some of his closest ties are called into question. Director Kadri Kõusaar cunningly navigates a script that slowly pieces together the truth behind Lauri's shooting through his visitors' confessionals to the comatose protagonist, cleverly building a web of motives among the tight-knit community. Bathed in the pastel tones of post-Soviet life, Mother is a smartly-crafted whodunit set in a small town where just about everyone is dreaming of something bigger and some are willing to do whatever it takes to... Written by Ian Hollander

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


How does no one know nothin' in this podunk town?


Drama | Thriller


Did You Know?


Official submission of Estonia for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 89th Academy Awards in 2017. See more »


from the album "Heliographs"
Composed by Erik Honoré, performed by Erik Honoré & Sidsel Endresen
Erik Honoré. All rights reserved
See more »

User Reviews

After it was over, I wanted to see it again
10 June 2017 | by JSL26See all my reviews

I saw this little gem of a movie at a EU film festival in Kyoto. It had a lot of twists and turns, all built upon the various people who visited the comatose young teacher who (we learn early in the movie) had withdrawn a lot of money from his bank account shortly before being shot. It seems like the parade of visitors, all of whom seem sympathetic to his plight, also have an inordinate interest in the money that was withdrawn and still unaccounted for. When the mystery was revealed, I immediately wished I could watch it over again to see everything again through the new prism.

I agree with the previous reviewer, but wanted to add a few notes based on the comments after the film by the producer, the vivacious Aet Laigu and the excellent lead actress, Tiina Mälberg, who attended the screening. Ms. Laigu, who conceived the story and co-wrote the screenplay, said that the movie was shot on location in 16 days and that the whole production only took 7 months. Knowing that, I have to say the ensemble cast did a great job. They all seemed like real people who knew each other. She also mentioned that the production team was going for an 80's Estonian/Russian TV look where the colors are all a bit washed out, except for the bright flowers in the garden and bouquets that play a big role in the story.

This is a movie that will stick with you.

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

8 January 2016 (Estonia) See more »

Also Known As:

Anya See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Meteoriit Oü See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

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