Skip to main content

MOTHER

USSR, 1955 (MIFF 1957, Programme 25)

Director: Mark Donskoi

Gorki's famous novel, "Mother", was first filmed during the height of the Russian silent period by Pudovkin who used the story for the realisation of his theories on constructive editing.

This new film version of the novel was directed by Donskoi (whose Childhood of Maxim Gorki was shown al the 1956 Festival). Donskoi wrote about filmmakers: "Humanism is in my view the real credo of our profession. In Mother I have tried to the best of my ability to be true to this our credo…"

The story of the film tells of the transformation of a mother, from the timid, illiterate, ignorant, crushed creature to the active fighter towards the coming revolution - a transformation wrought by witnessing the struggles. arrest, and final exile of her son and by imbuing his faith and love for his fellow workers. In relation to the making of this film, it is interesting to read Donskoi's comments: "Somehow or other, cinematographers had begun to show in recent years a certain disregard of the rich methods of cinematographic expression developed by generations of silent film makers . . . we ignored the obvious simple fact that methods of expression highly effective in the silent film need not lose their impact when carried over ... to a milieu of sound and colour ... so in Mother ... I tried to create ... an ensemble of expressive cinematic resources in which composition of the shot, movement within the shot, light and colour, music and speech . . . might enhance each other and build up jointly to a powerful total effect."

See also...

THE CHILDHOOD OF MAXIM GORKI

"Now, as I recall the past, I sometimes have difficulty in believing that it was really like that; I am inclined to refute and protest many of - the facts. . . . ... "But the truth is beyond all ... More »

EARTH

The story of Earth is a simple one. It tells, after a slow, lyrical prologue, of the fierce opposition of the Russian Kulaks to collective farmers. Its personal drama is that of Vasili, a young ... More »

THE SCARLET EMPRESS

Sophia Frederica is brought from Germany to Russia to become the wife of the mad Grand Duke Peter. She is, at first, innocent and wondering, but when married and plunged into the intrigue of the ... More »

THE MAGIC LOTUS LANTERN

This is a film of a Chinese national dance which is based on an old legend. Travelling to the capital to take his examination, Liu Yen-chang comes to the temple of the Goddess San Sheng Mu on Mount ... More »

Keep Moving

In a world of alienation, against a background of computers, surveillance and paranoia, Peter has found a way to survive: he keeps moving. ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director