After years of documentary filmmaking, Mahnaz Mohammadi’s makes her fiction-feature debut with Son-Mother. Starring Raha Khodayari (Leila) and Mahan Nasiri (Amir), the film tells the harrowing tale of an Iranian family forced to separate because of outdated cultural traditions.
Based on the screenplay written by Mohammad Rasoulof, Son-Mother starts off with Leila and her struggle to provide for her family as a widowed, single mother of two. She works at a factory that is in the midst of major layoffs and, due to time missed, she’s scarily close to being next the chopping block. The answer to her financial problems comes in the form of the factory bus driver, Kazem (Reza Behboodi), who proposes marriage to help lighten the load. However, he has a young daughter around Amir’s age and tradition dictates that Amir can’t live under the same roof.
The second half of the film focuses on Amir and the aftermath of his mother’s decision. He’s sent to live at a school for the deaf with the promise of his mother returning to pick him up within two weeks. His life upended, he’s made to assimilate in an unfamiliar world.
As a documentarian, Mohammadi is known for her refreshing brand of honesty – but it’s not always celebrated. She’s been interrogated by authorities, banned from travelling internationally and imprisoned on multiple occasions for speaking truth to power through her work. In Son-Mother, doing what she does best, Mohammadi offers a bird’s eye view of what it’s like for women and families living in patriarchal Iran.
Monday September 9, Jackman Hall (AGO), 12:15 PM
Sunday, September 15, Scotiabank, 3:00 PM