The delightfully impish outrageousness of Rosa von Praunheim turns to more serious contemplation of his origins in the German helmer’s engrossing family docu, “Two Mothers.” Told in 2000 by his 94-year-old mother that he was adopted at an orphanage in Riga, von Praunheim sets out to track down his natural parents. Though such journeys are hardly new, the helmer’s fearless honesty and WWII backdrop make for compelling viewing. Euro cable is a certainty, but docu fests should also jump.
Born Holger Radtke in 1942, adopted as Holger Mischwitzky, von Praunheim approaches his search with conflicted emotions, since the parents who raised him provided the kind of loving, supportive home an enfant terrible filmmaker needs to survive. Following mother Gertrud’s death, he begins ferreting out details of the Nazi occupation of Latvia, discovering by pure chance his biological mother’s name, Edith Radtke, and his own birth certificate in a prison hospital. Von Praunheim is unafraid to head down paths others would want hidden, such as the horrific legacy of the SS, and while questions remain by the end, this moving docu is the perfect counterpart to his campier “Phooey, Rosa!”