Mother and Son (Mat i Syn)

on February 06, 1998 by Ed Scheid
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   "Mother and Son" is the exceptional film about the end of a close relationship. The son (Alexei Ananishnov) cares for his dying mother (Gudrun Geyer). She is so weak that her son acts like the parent-he carries his mother and feeds her from a baby bottle. With each gesture the son conveys his deep love for the mother he will soon lose. Their deserted village emphasizes his desolation.
   Alexander Sokurov's direction gives the film a unique power as well as a remarkable look: The striking cinematography was influenced by museum paintings. Sokurov has used lenses to distort the landscape, giving a vivid reflection of the nightmare the son is living through. Other images are blurry, giving a sense of tears or of the mother's declining vision. Through these visual techniques, the film heightens the sense of the intense emotional connection between them. The emotional close-ups are particularly compelling.    Starring Gudrun Geyer and Alexei Ananishnov. Directed by Alexander Sokurov. Written by Yuri Arabov. Produced by Thomas Kufus. An International Film Circuit release. Drama. Russian-language; subtitled. Running Time: 73 min.
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