Slovenčina                                                              19.10.2021, 05:01
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107 Mothers world premieres at the 78th Venice IFF

The Venice International Film Festival (1. – 11. September 2021) will present the world premiere of Peter Kerekes’s fiction film debut. 107 Mothers will compete with 18 other titles in the Orizzonti section, dedicated to films that represent the lastest aesthetic and expressive trends in the international cinema.

Iryna is a dedicated warden at Prison No. 74 in Odessa, a women's correctional facility in Ukraine, where she watches over hundreds of convicts. Lesya, sentenced to seven years for a crime of passion, is one of the penitentiary's newest entrants, and she moves into the institution pregnant with her first child.

As she gradually gets accustomed to the rules of prison life, Lesya discovers that many of her fellow inmates share her fate. Those with young children are allowed to visit them once in a while in a separate part of the facility, where the kids are being cared for by benevolent nurses and wardens.

Despite the limited freedom the mothers can enjoy in this section of the penitentiary, the rules remain strict and apply to everyone without exception: unless the inmates can find a home for their children before their third birthday, the little ones will be placed in institutional care. A tragedy for each mother and child, as well as a difficult routine for Irina, who is charged with handing over the kids to the social services.

Locked in, and with almost no one to reach out to on the outside, Lesya has to find a way of preventing her son from ending up in an orphanage.

Peter Kerekes graduated from the Film and Television Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, earning a degree in film directing. In 2003, he directed and produced his debut feature documentary, 66 Seasons, which became a festival hit and won several awards, including the Best Film Award at DocAviv. His next feature documentary, Cooking History (2009), received the Prix Arte nomination for Best Documentary at the European Film Awards, among other plaudits. Kerekes's 2013 feature documentary, Velvet Terrorists, co-directed by Pavol Pekarčík and Ivan Ostrochovský, won the FEDEORA Award at the Karlovy Vary IFF and celebrated its international premiere at the Berlinale Forum, winning the Tagesspiegel Readers’ Award. After almost 20 years, his signature style has evolved and transformed, as manifested in his new film 107 Mothers.

„At the beginning, there was a large documentary mosaic of various censors. One part of it consisted of prison guards who censor love letters. This took us to Odessa, where we met Irina Alexandrovna. And she fascinated me. Representing such a full-blooded and interesting character, I knew right away that she would be at the heart of the film. Suddenly, other things gradually began to fade away. At once, it started to turn from a documentary into a hybrid film, built around Irina. I realised that she was always at her best only in interactions. In such a way, the individual aspects of her personality can be revealed – acting nice towards someone, but she rebukes the other, and afterwards, it turns out how lonely she is.“ said the director for magazine.

Read full interview here: (page 16)


Pass Holders:

09/01 19:45 Sala Casinò
09/01 22:00 Sala Volpi
09/02 14:00 PalaBiennale
09/02 14:15 Sala Darsena
09/03 09:15 Sala Casinò
09/03 11:00 Sala Volpi
09/03 14:15 Sala Casinò
09/03 17:00 Sala Volpi

09/02 14:00 PalaBiennale
09/02 14:15 Sala Darsena


Related AIC articles:
2019: The Painted Bird and SH_T HAPPENS in the 76th Venice IFF’s competitions

published: 25.08.2021
updated: 26.08.2021