Mother and Son Мать и сын

1996 – 35mm – colore – 67′


Direction: Aleksandr Sokurov

Screenplay: Yury Arabov

Cinematography: Aleksey Fyodorov

Editing: Leda Semyonova

Set design: Esther Ritterbusch, Vera Zelinskaya

Music: Mikhail Ivanovich

Cast: Gudrun Geier, Aleksey Ananishnov

Producers: Aleksandr Golutva, Martin Hagemann, Thomas Kufus, Katrin Schlösser

Production: Roskomkino, North Foundation, zero film, Lenfilm




A mother is seriously ill, physically weakened and listless. Her son takes loving care of her, feeds her, helps her sit on the bench in front of the house. The mother tries not to let her son understand how close she is to death. She asks to go for a walk, even though she can hardly stand, and the son lifts her up and carries her across the now deserted town, where only the two of them are left. Inside their home, the shadowy rooms are suddenly pierced by the sunlight.



“There are only two characters in Sokurov’s film, and a last, desperate act of love: and reality seems to become unbalanced as the sad event gets close. Death is already there, it has been there since the beginning, and seems to affect everything. Time stands still, because those few remaining moments must retrace everything, fade slowly, wear away like the light of a candle. The leap into nothingness is as light as sleep. But the faces bear the marks of suffering, like those in 15th-century Pietas, expressing a universal destiny. The colours in the images fade and melt away, blurring the lines: brush strokes painted on the absurdity of being, shapes in which nature and human transcendence collide.”

(Angelo Signorelli,Cineforum No. 364, May 1997 )



1997 Moscow International Film Festival – Competition: Special Jury Prize, Russian Film Critics Award, Andrei Tarkovsky Award