Reviews and Festivals
"A brilliantly sensitive film which interweaves the impossible choices that two families must make when economic necessities meet the scourge of dementia. Asking us to look at both the intimate challenges as well as the global ones, the film opens ways of thinking about what a mother's role is, questions what we owe our children and our mothers, and most profoundly, asks how we can face life's most painful conundrums with dignity...a haunting and gorgeous meditation."
— Kirsten Johnson, Executive Producer of Mother & Director of Cameraperson and Dick Johnson is Dead
"Mother is an extremely touching film. It is a film for everyone. More significantly, I believe that people who have experience looking after people living with dementia can particularly resonate with this film. It will also be of interest to scholars working in the field of transnational care, labor migration, and kinscapes."
— Karen Lok Yi Wong, Anthropology and Aging: Journal of the Association for Anthropology & Gerontology
"A radical achievement: a love letter to loss, sacrifice and
yearning. This is intimate observational documentary-making of a high
standard. Five stars"
— The Guardian
"Tender and delicate. Through the generous spirit of Pomm, we recognize that to be a mother is to care, and to treat those around us with respect and kindness. A truly moving portrait."
"Mother is a tender depiction of the intersection of sacrifice and loss and its heartbreaking honesty in exploring the complexities of motherhood from different realities."
— Sheffield Doc/Fest Jury statement
"Long after we watched it, the unique story of MOTHER kept resonating in our minds."
— Dutch Film Critics Circle
"Carried by a sensitive and delicate direction, MOTHER achieves both in the direction and in the writing a critical virtuosity. The director's gaze on the protagonists accompanies us with solicitude. Indeed, the film maintains a tension and manages to raise our awareness of hte lives of the characters while highlighting, without judgment, the injsutice of their respective situations."
— Belgian Film Critics Circle
"A remarkable film. It illuminates the new phenomenon of eldercare in Thailand for European, frail elderly, and those with dementia. The film explores what real caregiving is about —authentic presence, caring relationships, and the caretaking of memories. It also shows the great tension in the lives of poor Thai health aids who are unable to give all the care they want to give to family members. Just a wonderful film for all of us concerned with the enormous issues of global aging."
— Arthur Kleinman, Harvard University, Author of The Soul of Care
"The potentially downbeat subject matter of Mother might make some potential viewers nervous, but it proves a deeply humane, life-affirming experience."
— Video Librarian
"Examines caregiving with great poignancy"
"MOTHER makes us think about what Aristotle calls philia: friendship that forges bonds across countries and generations, even when we have become radically dependent and vulnerable. It shows what human dignity is about: bearing the vulnerability of the other...and knowing oneself to be behand."
— Professor Willem Lemmens, University of Antwerp
"A film that's moving and always surprising, exploring love and sacrifice that transcend distance and memory"
"MOTHER elegantly depicts both the pain and beauty of the fight to maintain that bond and do what's healthiest for all"
— Movable Fest
"Poignant and eye-opening. Four stars"
— The Sunday Times
"Mother is a deeply affecting documentary about outsourcing care. Four stars"
— Financial Times
"Mother is an honest and emotionally charged documentary piece that collects the dualities in a comprehensible whole"
"MOTHER shows the extreme sides of the human soul: abandonment and connection, distance and proximity, inability and commitment. The combination of beauty and powerlessness is very comforting, the images resonate for a long time."
— Professor Dirk De Wachter, psychiatrist-psychotherapist
"A warm image and a laurel made not only to the mother and all the mothers, but also to all those who cared for and said last farewells to loved ones"
— Eye for Film
"A detailed study in the cultural differences involved in familial bonds"
— Srikanth Srinivasan, The Seventh Art
"A touching tribute to the selflessness and humanity of caregivers"
— The Irish Times
"MOTHER becomes a metaphor for yearning, compassion and empathy. Like that alone could justify such selflessness."
— Indian Express
"Deeply moving and incredibly affecting MOTHER will rock your world. Working on so many levels beyond the surface this is a film that will haunt you for days after you see it."
— Unseen Films
"A single tapestry of profound emotional conflict"
— Hammer To Nail
"A heartfelt documentary which enables us to witness the healing and transformative possibilities of compassionate end-of-life caregiving"
— Spirituality & Practice
"A tribute to kindness and solidarity. Watch it if you can"
— Dirty Movies
"Fascinating and thought-provoking"
"This moving film truly shines in its exploration of the universal complexity of the parent/child relationship"
— Third Coast Review
"The themes this film tackles have certainly been studied before but never quite in this fashion. 'Mother' is a terrific piece of work with a unique take on an issue that we can all understand."
— Battle Royale with Cheese
"Mother is a tale of feminine strength and dignity, resilience in the face of enormous challenges, and the unique connection between a mother and her child."
— Mekong Review
"What Kristof Bilsen is doing here is spectacular in an extremely subtle way. A masterpiece. Heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. Anyone who has a mother of their own should have seen this film."
— Sven Speybrouch, Radio 1, Internal Kitchen
"Warm-hearted, empathetic documentary reflection on the essence of motherhood, care provision and aging with dignity."
— Patrick Duynslaegher, Film Fest Gent
Millennium Int'l Doc Fest, Best Belgian Documentary and Audience Award
Ensor Award for Best Documentary
Sheffield Doc Fest
Docville, Best Belgian Documentary
HONORABLE MENTION CIRCLE OF FILM CRITICS
International Film Festival Rotterdam
Film Fest Ghent
Cork International Film Festival
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
One World Prague
Docs Against Gravity