Mother of Mine (DVD)
I recently watched this award-winning Finnish movie. It is an outstanding, very well made and very poignant, with superb acting. It tells a touching tale in an understated and subtle way, is very moving and creates a deep and lasting impression. The filming is outstanding throughout the movie, and the photography is completely breathtaking.
Mother of Mine, from the award-winning director Klaus Härö (Elina: As If I Wasn't There (Elina - Som om jag inte fanns ), is based on a true story. During World War II, with Finland under attack by Stalin's Russia, more than 70,000 Finnish children were evacuated to neutral Sweden to avoid the hardships of the conflict. In the movie, this very difficult part of Finland's history is told by means of the story of 9-year-old Eero. He is sent to Sweden after having lost his father, who fought against the Russians.
Eero travels alone to a strange land where they speak an incomprehensible language, and increasingly feels abandoned by his biological Finnish mother, but at the same time not attached to his Swedish surrogate mom. Eero feels lost, particularly as his foster mother Signe (Maria Lundqvist) behaves very indifferent towards him. She was expecting a little girl and still mourns for her daughter who drowned at sea.
His fragile existence is turned upside down when his mother writes a letter and he learns that she has fallen in love with a German and wants to go with him to Germany. Now his Swedish foster parents are to become his parents, and as Eero becomes Signe's son, she dares to open her heart to him and cares lovingly for him.
Then, once more things change for him and his new parents - all of a sudden his mother wants Eero to return to Finland. Now he is attached to his Swedish family and does not want to leave. And when he is returned to Finland against his will, his confusion intensifies. Never again he will be able to trust his mother, since she has disappointed him too often
Sixty years later, invited to Signe's burial, he will understand while reading all letters that both women only wanted the best for him.
About the film, Klaus Haro, the director and Finland's most significant director, said:
"we can capture something universal in the feelings of exclusion and rootlessness that we associate with the experiences of the war children. The themes are strongly relevant to any child who has been separated from his/her parents, to anyone for whom growing up has generally been hard due to the secrets they carry in their heart".
The performances by Maria Lundqvist, as Signe, and Michael Nyquist (Mikael Blomqvist in the Millennium-movies), as Hjalmar, Eero's surrogate father, are stellar - amazing, rich, and delightful. Beautifully filmed and acted, this is the kind of movie that is worth seeing more than once. Mother of Mine is a powerful, moving drama, truly delightful from beginning to end.
Product Details (US version)
- Actors: Brasse Brannstrom, Michael Nyquist, Maria Lundqvist, Esko Salminen, Leif Andree
- Directors: Klaus Haro
- Format: Color, DVD, NTSC
- Language: Swedish/Finnish
- Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Rated: Unrated
- Studio: Film Movement
- DVD Release Date: August 7, 2007
- Run Time: 111 minutes