DIRECTED BY ALEKSANDR SOKUROV
Russia | 1997 | English subtitles | 79 minutes | NA
In his spare, intense, lyrical ''Mother and Son,'' Sokurov immerses the viewer in an isolated landscape that resonates with pain and loneliness as a young man tends his dying mother. On the surface, little happens. In a small house in the countryside of Russia, a son (Alexei Ananischnov) cares for his sick, elderly mother (Gudrun Geyer) as they prepare for her death. As the mother struggles to breathe and her health gradually deteriorates, her son holds her, feeds her and does his best to comfort her. When the son finally brings the mother to her death bed, the two embark on a journey through a hallucinatory outdoor landscape where they spend their final moments together. If ''Mother and Son'' vexes at length despite the mesmerizing cinematic canvases that Mr. Sokurov lays before the onlooker in an unbroken parade of visual riches, it is because in time, he creates an understandable yearning to know more of these people. For all the universality of the relationship he depicts, for all the universality of death and loss, this mother and this son are singular.