Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Justified' Rides Into the Sunset As One of TV's Best Shows, If Not One of Its Most Watched 'Justified' Rides Into the Sunset As One of TV's Best Shows, If Not One of Its Most Watched A Writer From The Onion Totally Destroys Patton Oswalt in This Epic Twitter Rant A Writer From The Onion Totally Destroys Patton Oswalt in This Epic Twitter Rant The A.V. Club Picks the 100 Best Movies of the Decade; 'The Master' Tops the List The A.V. Club Picks the 100 Best Movies of the Decade; 'The Master' Tops the List 'Justified's Finale Did Just Enough to Be Perfect 'Justified's Finale Did Just Enough to Be Perfect The 'Game of Thrones' Leak: Don't Blame Critics (At Least Not Yet) The 'Game of Thrones' Leak: Don't Blame Critics (At Least Not Yet) David Chase Has Explained the Ending of 'The Sopranos' Again. Maybe He Should Stop Explaining David Chase Has Explained the Ending of 'The Sopranos' Again. Maybe He Should Stop Explaining Daily Reads: Why CSI: Cyber Is a Bad Show Worth Watching, the New 'Twin Peaks' Mystery, and More Daily Reads: Why CSI: Cyber Is a Bad Show Worth Watching, the New 'Twin Peaks' Mystery, and More Daily Reads: 10 Reasons Why 'Justified' Rocked, The Case for Kristen Stewart, and more Daily Reads: 10 Reasons Why 'Justified' Rocked, The Case for Kristen Stewart, and more 'Simpsons' Showrunner Al Jean Says No Further Seasons Will Be Released on DVD 'Simpsons' Showrunner Al Jean Says No Further Seasons Will Be Released on DVD The Hollywood Reporter Ranks New York's Top Film Critics, From 'Cream Puffs' to 'F*ckers' The Hollywood Reporter Ranks New York's Top Film Critics, From 'Cream Puffs' to 'F*ckers' 'While We're Young': Noah Baumbach's Xer-Millennial Comedy Ponders the Difference Between Sharing People's Lives and Stealing Them 'While We're Young': Noah Baumbach's Xer-Millennial Comedy Ponders the Difference Between Sharing People's Lives and Stealing Them Daily Reads: Just Show Us the Damn Trailer, 'The Avengers' vs. 'Man of Steel,' and More Daily Reads: Just Show Us the Damn Trailer, 'The Avengers' vs. 'Man of Steel,' and More What Paul Walker's Digital "Fast & Furious" Double Reveals About the Troubling Future of Film Acting What Paul Walker's Digital "Fast & Furious" Double Reveals About the Troubling Future of Film Acting The Death-by-Skype Horror Movie 'Unfriended' Is an Unlikely Critical Hit The Death-by-Skype Horror Movie 'Unfriended' Is an Unlikely Critical Hit Daily Reads: 5 Key 'Game of Thrones' Premiere Scenes, Why 'Wonder Woman' Losing Its Director Was Good News, and More Daily Reads: 5 Key 'Game of Thrones' Premiere Scenes, Why 'Wonder Woman' Losing Its Director Was Good News, and More You Can Take Kristen Stewart Seriously Now. Critics Do. You Can Take Kristen Stewart Seriously Now. Critics Do. Why Andrew Jarecki's 'The Jinx' Could Be Very, Very Bad for Documentaries Why Andrew Jarecki's 'The Jinx' Could Be Very, Very Bad for Documentaries Criticwire Survey: Best Horror Movies Since 2000 Criticwire Survey: Best Horror Movies Since 2000 Daily Reads: Why No One Remembers "Avatar," the Best Blu-rays and DVDs of 2014, and more Daily Reads: Why No One Remembers "Avatar," the Best Blu-rays and DVDs of 2014, and more The Scrambled Sexuality of 'Frozen's "Let It Go" The Scrambled Sexuality of 'Frozen's "Let It Go"

Good Mothers and Bad Children at Locarno 2012

Criticwire By Claudia Piwecki | Criticwire August 6, 2012 at 7:25PM

Good Mothers and Bad Children at Locarno 2012
0
"Quelques Heures de Printemps."
"Quelques Heures de Printemps."

The following piece contains spoilers.

When loaded with emotion, family stories often deal with complicated dynamics. Two films at the Locarno Film Festival are about mothers forced into involuntary family reunions, but similar tragedy in both stories leads to vastly different outcomes. It's a situation most of us face at some point: the death of one's mother. 

“Shouting Secrets,” a Swiss/American production from director Korinna Sehringer, which was shown at Locarno just prior to the festival's official kick-off, is the story of a Native American family that suddenly has to care for its matriarch, June (Tantoo Cardinal), after she experiences a stroke. Their eldest, Tushka (Tyler Christopher), endangers his relationship to his wife and son through an escapade with an underage girl. Wesley (Chaske Spencer), has been estranged from the family since he found success as a writer with a fictional book that resembles his own history. The youngest, Pinti (Q'orianka Kilcher), is the protected little girl who struggles to tell her family about her pregnancy at the hands of a white musician. June has also had a motherly relation to Caitlyn (Tonantzin Carmelo), a young doctor at the local hospital who gets pregnant by way of a sperm donor.

June's marriage to husband Cal (Gil Birmingham) had been through tough times even before her stroke during the preparations for an anniversary party. When the family gathers in the hospital, they realize that June has been the glue holding them together. The concern for her life makes the reunion fraught with tension. As old and new problems break through, Wesley, confronted with his selfish escape, continues to struggle with the reasons that made him write his book.

The journey is similar in Stéphane Brizé's “Quelques Heures de Printemps,” which was shown as a world premiere on Sunday at the Piazza Grande. At the age of 48, Alain (Vincent Lindon) is forced to move back into his mother Yvette's (Helene Vincent) house. Soon, old disagreements arise and lead to horrible fights. When Alain discovers Yvette's fatal illness, she has already made up her mind for an assisted suicide in Switzerland. Yvette suffers from brain cancer and does everything to keep Alain with her in her last months of life, even as he struggles to overcome his pride. 

Both mothers project a protective image to everyone around them, and both films powerfully convey the connection between child and parent. June and Yvette never give up on their kids: the former keeps trying to reach her lost son while the latter forgives Alain's every outburst, no matter how cruel. As different as they are, both deal with the delicate topic of death with equal amounts of sensitivity. Death brings families together, and forces children to finally express their feelings towards their parents. In “Shouting Secrets,” death comes unexpectedly and the family realizes that June deserved more appreciation. In “Quelques Heures de Printemps," Alain has time to prepare himself for the loss and fails to use it.

Both films are worth seeing, but “Quelques Heures de Printemps” leaves a more lasting impact. Alain is left alone, incapable of expressing his feelings, still struggling with life, while in “Shouting Secrets” the shouting dies away with a happy ending and a newfound family dynamic.

Claudia Piwecki is part of Indiewire's Critics Academy at the Locarno Film Festival. She lives in Basel, Switzerland, where she is the chief editor of the cultural section of www.semestra.ch, and is enrolled in a Master's program in cultural studies. Click here to read all of the Academy's work.

This article is related to: Locarno International Film Festival, Critics Academy


E-Mail Updates



Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome