Motherly Love Knows No Bounds In These DIFF Films
by Alex Garcia Topete
“There’s nothing like a mother’s love,” or so the saying goes, but that belief hasn’t stopped the filmmakers behind a variety of movies in this year’s DIFF to try to show us the many aspects of a mother’s love. From a love that is selfless and prone to sacrifice, to a love that borders on the neurotic and asphyxiating, one can find all sorts of mothers as the leading ladies in these festival films.
You can find Penelope Cruz’s Magda in MA MA facing adversity like only a mother can: stoically, concerned with the future of her son and whole family, and overcoming the challenges of divorce and cancer.
You can find love that exists and stands out even in the darkest of moments in life, as presented in A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS, in which Natalie Portman acts, writes, and directs like only a mother of many talents like her could accomplish.
You can find love that brings some kind of peace and understanding, just like the family in OTHER PEOPLE, led by a funny and very human mother played by Molly Shannon, reminding the audience that families aren’t always dysfunctional—they’re just families.
You can find love that seeks a connection, whether that be with a relative or a stranger, such as Naomi’s love in LAST SUMMER, a mother striving to bond with her son or anyone that will let her, beautifully played by Rinko Kikuchi at her best level of sadness and mystery.
You can find love that comes from being reunited; a reunion that allows new light to be shed on the relationship between mother and daughter, like in THREE DAYS IN AUGUST.
You can find the prototypical mother-daughter relationship in THE ANTRHOPOLOGIST—at times at odds because both are strong-willed, but always close and almost ironically interconnected by the interests and life passions of both.
Ultimately, all of these movies shows us an overarching truth about mothers—no matter their screen time or type of love, they’re always the heroines in their stories.
DALLAS STAR AWARDOscar-nominated cinematographer Ed Lachman’s selected credits as a cinematographer include the Emmy nominated HBO mini-series Mildred Pierce and films including DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES, and the Academy Award nominated film, CAROL.
DALLAS MAVERICK AWARDOur inaugural honoree, director, editor and producer Monte Hellman, has a career that spans six decades. He has exemplified cutting-edge filmmaking across multiple genres, working with budgets, from high-to-low, and with casts featuring stars to complete unknowns.