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A Syrian refugee girl trying to stay alive and make her way out finding a new home in a massive exodus under the Syrian civil war.

Director:

Eduardo Vieitez
Reviews
22 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Aysegül Aslan Aysegül Aslan ... Mother Kilis
Bennu Boztepe Bennu Boztepe ... Girl
Ela Boztepe Ela Boztepe ... Girl
Inna Bychkova Inna Bychkova ... Mother Aleppo
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Storyline

A Syrian refugee girl trying to stay alive and make her way out finding a new home in a massive exodus under the Syrian civil war.

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Genres:

Short | Drama | War

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Details

Country:

Turkey

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 November 2017 (India) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Milk Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In November 2017, Eduardo Vieitez was awarded Best Director for his film "Mama" in Calcutta International Cult Fim Festival, in India. This project was also a finalist in Short Films category. See more »

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User Reviews

 
An extreme act of humanity
22 December 2017 | by hlc-cicffSee all my reviews

Eduardo Vieitez's "Mama" puts a face to the fact that refugees are all individual people who lost their homes and families, many are children who are now alone. "Mama" is the true story of a young girl, Rabah, who lost her entire family when a bomb destroyed her home in Aleppo, Syria. Vieitez begins by showing us snapshots of Rabah's life; small enchanted moments of childhood memory blending one into the other. The young girl lies on the floor making a colored-pencil drawing of her happy family. She sits in her room as her mother combs her hair;in another moment we are celebrating her birthday.

Vieitez lulls the audience into a life that once was, only to be horrified when the world is ripped apart by a bomb. We are in the house with Rabah and her family when it happens.The explosion pushes forcibly through the hallways, leaving devastation in its wake. Rabah is left in shock, standing in a smoke-filled pile of rubble.

In his director's statement, Vieitez says that he aims to overwhelm us with a first-person experience.He gives us a raw story; a sense of the trauma a refugee experiences when they go from an everyday life filled with happiness and family, to "the bloodiest hell on the earth."

Vieitez skillfully recreates the blast from the bomb as it rushes through the house. It creates a vacuum, at first slow motion, the editing becomes rapid-fire, mimicking the chaos such an explosion would cause. In an instant, stasis is gone and replaced with the horrors of war. Rabah is shell-shocked, traumatized by the sudden dramatic change in her world. She is confused. She can't find her mother. We fear for this terrified child, who is in danger of being killed at any moment.

Rabah wanders the war-torn streets, desperately calling out, "mama, mama." This the only dialogue in the film. The audience shares a sense of detachment with the child, as Rahman Altin's hypnotic original score drifts throughout the film, at times mixing with the diegetic sound of unseen aircraft, at others blending into rolling thunder.

The sounds of war, people running through the streets, and military vehicles, are all muffled as if the strike of the bomb has done something to our hearing. We can empathize with Rabah's paralyzing terror. Still, she pushes on, surrounded by chaos, periodically calling "mama." Her small voice in the midst of the destruction is a reminder that the victims of war are often the children who are left alone to fend for themselves. It is a terrible human tragedy.

Vieitez accomplishes his quest to create a documentary-style account of the horrors of war. By the time we follow the refugees to the town of Kilis, Turkey, we are relieved to find out that they are welcomed here. Vieitez says he made this film, in part, as a tribute to the municipality of Kilis and its citizens, which in an extreme act of humanity. This act allowed more refugees into their city, this beagn increasing their current population. Vieitez says, and I agree, that the rest of the world should take note and act with the same compassion toward refugees.

Helen Wheels/Cult Critic/CICFF


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