Mother, I Love You  {Mammu, es tevi milu}

Mother, I Love You
Mammu, es tevi milu

Latvia, 2013, 83 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Drama, Family Issues
Language: Latvian English Sub-Titles

Mother, I Love You, which follows a young man who makes a series of bad choices and ends up in trouble, is a kind of modern-age Latvian version of The 400 Blows. Twelve-year-old Riamonds lives with his single mother in an apartment in Riga. While she works as an obstetrician, he is often alone; when they are together they are more like roommates than mother and son.

Raimonds rides a scooter to school, plays saxophone in the band, and plays Wii, but he also has a mischievous streak. He hangs out with Peteris and explores the luxury condo his mother cleans. The boys steal the key so they can return to the apartment. They tease the girls at school, leading to a write-up from the school counselor, which Raimonds, terrified of his mother’s reaction, destroys. His resourceful way of wriggling out of these problems only leads to worse, and soon he is being investigated by the police for petty crime.

Newcomer Kristophers Konovalovs, chosen from a thousand boys to play Raimonds, nails the subtleties of the 12-year-old mind: he makes one bad decision after another, yet to him these choices make complete sense. Director Janis Nords captures his emotions pitch-perfectly—we feel the fear of punishment as seen through Raimonds’s eyes, his fear of his mother’s reaction more than that of teachers or even police. With its nuanced emotions of a boy on the cusp of adulthood, at once wanting to stay close to his mother yet become a part of the larger world, Mother, I Love You garnered prizes at this year’s Berlin and Los Angeles film festivals, and is on the Oscar track.

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DIRECTOR: Janis Nords
Producer: Alise Gelze, Gatis Smits
Editor: Tamara Meem
Screenwriter: Janis Nords
Cinematographer: Tobias Datum
Principal Cast: Kristofers Konovalovs, Vita Varpina, Matiss Livcans, Indra Brike

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