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WINNER

Tallinn Black Nights

Film Festival

BEST FILM

Tomas Vengris

Motherland

2019 | Drama | Lithuania | 

97 mins | Colour | Lithuanian & Russian 

Director: Tomas Vengris

MOTHERLAND is a lyrical coming-of-age drama about a woman trying to reclaim her idealised past under the watchful eyes of her pre-adolescent son. The story provokes a fresh glimpse into the complicated realities of finding one’s identity and asserting independence - both personal and political -- through the perspective of a young American boy in newly independent Lithuania.

Synopsis: 

An old soviet Zigulys car rattles over uneven streets. A boy stares out the window, concerned. He hears his mother’s voice, recounting her childhood memories about this beautiful land. But the view from the back seat tells a different story. The boy’s eyes dart back and forth as he takes in the sites of Vilnius, Lithuania. 1992. Shortly after the fall of the iron curtain, 12-year-old Kovas travels to his mother Viktorija (47)’s homeland for the first time. It has been 20 years since she escaped the UssR and now she has returned to reclaim her family land. still reeling from his parents recent divorce, Kovas is eager for the distraction of this summer vacation. Viktorija, however, has a different plan. Consumed with nostalgia and tired from her crumbled marriage and failed career, Viktorija secretly hopes to start life over in the young country with her unsuspecting son.

Viktorija’s handsome former love, Romas (49), has useful connections and offers to escort them to the family land. They arrive to find an impoverished Russian family occupying the tattered estate. Romas and Viktorija deliberate how to get rid of the occupants. As their plans unfold, Kovas begins to see a different and unexpected side of his mother. When Romas attempts to remove the tenants of the land by force, things begin to unravel and the group must consider how far they are willing to go to keep their dreams intact.

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