MOTHER (1955) [Feature]

USSR (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."

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