CIFF 2021- The Unrelenting Prison System in “107 Mothers”: Capsule Film Review

There may be nothing more full of warmth and care than that of a mother. In
Péter Kerekes’ gripping feature, 107 Mothers, this immense power of love is put up against one of the most unrelenting forces in the world: The prison system.

Every tender act of motherhood is depicted as cold and clinical, from the armed guards during breast-feeding to the handmade three-candle birthday cakes that signal that their child is about to be sent to an orphanage. The muted blue-grey color palette reinforces the frigid conditions of the institution.

Despite the heartless nature of the prison system, Kerekes still finds a way to show the passion of these women through a series of interviews with the prison therapist that expose their vulnerabilities. While the clinical tone of 107 Mothers may not be for everyone, the stories of these women are invaluable and deserve to be seen by a large audience.

The Silver Lining

Maryna Klimova stuns in 107 Mothers as young mother, Lesya. Her performance is subtle yet gut-wrenching as she tries to prevent her child from being transferred to an orphanage.

107 Mothers is a part of the Chicago International Film Festival’s programming. Tickets are still available for the film’s in-person screening (Sun, Oct 17th) and virtually until October 24th, so purchase your tickets now!

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