Review: ‘My Mother’s Tears’

A 10-year-old boy flees early 1980s Buenos Aires with his parents, landing among eccentrics in a Berlin industrial loft in the gently quirky autobiographical drama "My Mother's Tears."

A 10-year-old boy flees early 1980s Buenos Aires with his parents, landing among eccentrics in a Berlin industrial loft in the gently quirky autobiographical drama “My Mother’s Tears.” Full to bursting with story arcs and incidents, the film plays as a labor of love for helmer Alejandro Cardenas Amelio. Neither a kidpic nor a hard-hitting political expose, item’s logical course is fest flow followed by regional play commencing Nov. 6, then tube sales.

As he travels through contempo Buenos Aires to visit his dying father, Alex (Fabian Busch) recalls his years in Berlin as a tyke (Adrian Goessel) with documaker mom Lizzie (Erica Rivas) and brooding dad Carlos (Rafael Ferro). A scrounged 16mm projector results in classic movie nights, and leads to elaborate homemovies lensed by denizen Juergen (Joachim Paul Assbock). As Lizzie becomes more successful, Carlos drifts from job to job and into an affair. Alex discovers he has telekinesis, and Argentina bests Germany in soccer. Tech package is pro, led by Natascha Tagwerk’s sets and the prowling camera of d.p. Florian Schilling, winner of the cinematography prize at the recent Shanghai fest.

My Mother's Tears

Germany

Production

A Farbfilm release of a Worker Film, Creado Film production. (International sales: Kevin Williams Associates, Madrid.) Produced by Dirk Hamm, Nicolas Grupe. Directed by Alejandro Cardenas Amelio. Screenplay, Cuini Amelio-Ortiz, Amelio.

Crew

Camera (color), Florian Schilling; editor, Renata Salazar Ivancan; music, Andres Odone; production designer, Natascha Tagwerk; sound (Digital DTS), Robin Pohle. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (Focus on World Cinema), Aug. 26, 2008. (Also in Shanghai Film Festival.) Original title: Die traenen meiner mutter. German, Spanish dialogue. Running time: 94 MIN.

With

Rafael Ferro, Erica Rivas, Adrian Goessel, Fabian Busch, Alice Dwyer, Joachim Paul Assbock.
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