“Mother and Son” Review ✦✦✦✦✦

26 January, 2017

Year of Release: 1997
Aleksandr Sokurov
Yurij Arabov
Director of Photography:
Aleksey Fyodorov
Aleksei Ananishnov, Gudrun Geyer

Synopsis: An elderly woman on the verge of death experiences one final beautiful day with her son as he takes her out into the countryside so that the two can reflect on their life together.

Mother and Son Review:

A tragic visual poem from Alexander Sokurov who chooses to avoid the political and intellectual intentions of his other work in an attempt to go straight for the heart, “Mother and Son” is a fragile piece of cinema, presented to viewers as a tattered photograph inhabiting a wholly different universe to the one in which it was made. The cinematography creates the effect of peering inside a glass ball, a unique experience that sucks you into a bubble of emotion, pulling you out of existence and into cinematic limbo.

Refusing to outstay its welcome, “Mother and Son” exists in an unbroken meditative state at the pinnacle of art cinema mastery and, like a dream whispered in your ear during the final few breaths of life, the film occupies an untouched world where a mother and son simply exist in a platonic state of pure love and devotion. Around them the tumultuous, raging force of the mother’s imminent death is forever present as they pass through a deserted grassy landscape, pondering reality in an expansive field made to look like an Impressionist painting come to life.

Each scene in “Mother and Son” features a notable piece of imagery and its symbols are bold in a way that’s almost impossible to articulate through language. A man once cradled in his mother’s arms carries her in his own and the two share stories in the grass while a gentle orchestral score plays behind their words. Later the camera lingers painfully in the distance as the son forlornly retraces his steps, grieving and reflecting on a life passed. There isn’t a single film in existence comparable to this overlooked Sokurov masterpiece and it’s an affecting and powerful work of art that everyone should see at least once in their lives.


Review Date
Mother and Son