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 »


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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



Official Sites:

Official site





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 »

Did You Know?


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


Sest ma tean, see on armastus
from the album "Kelmid ja pühakud"
Composed by Olav Osolin, performed by Ott Lepland & Vallatud Vestid
Crunch Industry OÜ. All rights reserved
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User Reviews

Oh, mother!
11 June 2018 | by hrkeplerSee all my reviews

'Mother', at first seems to be bleak drama about mother who takes care of her comatose son, while her husband stays little distant. Soon, a quirky humor starts to flow in to give the film nice warmth. And soon the mystery starts to unfold. 'Mother' is more of a dark comedy than straight drama, but it doesn't go over the top - the comedy/drama is well balanced and the film never falls into (self) parody.

We are first introduced with the Mother character (Tiina Mälberg) while she's doing everyday chores - cleaning, washing, cooking and taking care of her son, who after strange shooting lies in coma. We learn about the son and the shooting through different people (colleagues, girlfriend, lover, students, investigating police officer, friends, etc.) who go to visit him to confess. But not only - we learn about the life of a small town, where everyone knows everything, but nobody know anything. The local police inspector (magnificently charming Jaan Pehk) who at first seems to be there just for comic relief as a silly small town cop. Although he keeps his comical value, but there are much more depth in the character. The film concentrates more on the characters and tries to show that the mystery surrounding the shooting is not the most important. Little by little we are revealed to different things in such a clever ways that we are starting to wonder - who is the criminal.

'Mother' manages to stay subtle, sweet and compassionate till to the shocking ending.

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