Friday, March 06, 2015

Äiti / Mother

FI/HR 2014. Fiction. PC: Napa Films. Slavica Film. P: Jenni Koski. D: Otto Kylmälä. SC: Otto Kylmälä, Heli Tamminen - based on a story by Otto Kylmälä. DP: Joni Juutilainen. S: Toni Teivaala. ED: Denis Golenja. M: Domas Strupinskas. C: Elias Koistinen (Elias), Seidi Haarla (mother, Helena), Jesse Vinnari (father, Jari). 11 min
    In Finnish with English subtitles by Jenni Koski.
    Tampere Film Festival (National Competition 9), Friday, 6 March 2015

TFF: "A family of three is driving in the middle of the night. Mother, recovering from depression, tries to reconnect with her son Elias, after a long absence in mental health institution. Elias is not ready to hear about the painful memories that took his mother away. Instead, Elias asks her to tell him his favourite bedtime story. It is a tale of a peculiar, moonstruck cow, that was let to wander on the fields in the moonlight, trusted with finding her way home. As mother is reciting the story, Elias closes his eyes and wanders off to his imagination. He finds himself on the cow paddock, with his mother, feeling the warmth oozing from the cows. The sweet fantasy ends in a painful memory, with Elias losing sight of his mother going astray in the woods, fearing she is lost forever. Mother is based on a strong emotional narrative of a family dealing with mental illness. The story is accompanied with a provoking and enigmatic visual interpretation that sheds light on the real and magical in the world of bi-polar disorder. Mother presents a moment when there's understanding within the family that gives hope for the future."

AA: There is a strong sense of psychological presence in this family story, and an oneiric intensity in the mother's tale of the moonstruck cow.
    Résumé: Darkness. Freeway. The father is driving, the son Elias is playing, the mother is resting on the back seat. "Which circuit, Iceman?". They stop for an ice cream at the service station. While the father is waiting impatiently outside the mother tells Elias a story about the moonstruck cow. We cut into the vision of the nocturnal view, and to a flashback of visiting mother earlier at the mental hospital.
Elias Koistinen (Elias), Seidi Haarla (mother, Helena)

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