Opening 29 Sep 2022
Mutter translates, of course, to Mother. A more appropriate title would be Mütter or Mothers. Here we see Anke Engelke engrossed in typical day-by-day activities, e.g., sitting in a bathtub full of suds, working at home in her bathrobe, driving a car, dancing, going to the dentist, grocery shopping, caring for two rabbits, etc. During these activities she “mouths” the words of eight different women, age 30 to 75, who speak in several different accents. They share their motherhood experiences. We hear about pregnancy, childbirth, childcare, adoption, insecurity, doubt, forgoing personal desires, readapting expectations, interacting with the child’s father, etc. The film ends with the song “I Heard My Mother Praying for Me” by Audrey and Hank Williams.
This film is a soliloquy featuring one actress over 88 minutes. Members of a very small supporting cast appear rarely and always in the background, never speaking, except for just four words spoken off-screen by her dentist. We never see a child, except for two wonderful young boys who sing on stage in a music presentation. We never see a father.
This film will appeal to a selected audience, i.e., fans of Anke Engelke (who looks wonderful), as well as anyone wishing to experience a new variation of filming, which one film critic calls “experimental cinema” (Experimentalkino). It showed at the 2022 Munich Film Festival. Director Carolin Schmitz has a background in making documentary short films; this is her third longer documentary. Director Schmitz and actress Engelke will appear in person at various premieres of Mutter, for example in Hamburg on Thursday, September 22, 2022 in Zeise Cinema at 20:00. It opens for the general public one week later. (Becky Tan)