Director: Romana Carén
"A poignant look at motherhood and coping with grief"
At what point during the pregnancy does a woman becomes a mother? That is the underlying question at the heart of director Romana Carén's emotionally charged short film, No Mother.
Gloria tries to reacclimatise to her life after suffering a miscarriage in the 11th week of her pregnancy. While others around her seemed to have moved on, an unshakeable feeling of loss tears at her heart constantly. The tangled web of her daily existence comprises of an inconsiderate boss, a supportive colleague and a loving yet despondent husband. She is surrounded by people who either in support or disdain have seemingly moved on from what she cannot.
Director and writer Romana Carén also portrays the protagonist and her tour-de-force performance as Gloria is the absolute highlight of the film. Displaying a masterful subtlety of the craft, she draws you into her world and as you get a glimpse into her broken heart, you can't help but feel a flood of some very complex emotions.
The writing, direction and cinematography are noteworthy and display an astute sense of building a narrative through impactful imagery, meaningful dialogues and seasoned performances. The supporting cast too does full justice to their roles especially David Wurawa as Gloria's husband Anthony. In his brief role, he manages to deftly convey the emotional struggle of a man who loves his wife and wants to be there for him but finds it challenging to empathize with something he doesn't fully comprehend.
All is not aces though. The sound mixing is a little rough around the edges, primarily due to the decision to use sync sound throughout. Footsteps and traffic noises occasionally distract from the moment and some of the editing choices between cuts are jarring. These are however small gripes as the emotionally honest core of the film keeps one hooked and leaves an undeniable impact long after the end credits roll.
All in all, this is a film that is poignant, relevant and emotionally resonant in equal measures.
No Mother is currently playing in select film festivals worldwide.