Kadri Kõusaar’s Mother to be the Estonian Oscar candidate
by Laurence Boyce
- The third feature by the Estonian director is a dark comedy
This year’s Estonian hopeful for the 2017 Academy Awards will be Mother [+see also:
film profile], the third feature by Kadri Kõusaar. The film centres on Elsa, who looks after her son, Lauri – a teacher who has been in a coma since an unexplained accident. While dealing with the stress of looking after her comatose son, she receives his visitors, who slowly unburden themselves to the comatose – and non-judgemental – Lauri. Soon, the truth of what has happened to him begins to reveal itself.
The film’s dark comedy has proven popular on the festival circuit (it has screened at the likes of Tribeca, where it had its international premiere, and Edinburgh) and has confirmed Kõusaar as one of Estonia’s most exciting directors. She has previously been lauded for films such as Magnus and The Arbiter [+see also:
The selection committee included distributor Lauri Kaare, film critic Tõnu Karjatse, cinematographer Mait Mäekivi, set designer Mare Raidma, producer Riina Sildos and Estonian Film Institute head Edith Sepp. They said: “The film deftly balances the visible and hidden within the confines of a small town, the bright world outside contrasting with the dimmed light of the sick man’s room, only sometimes lifting the veil from the emotional whirlwinds within the main characters. Comatose teacher Lauri emphasises the static nature of a small town as people confess their innermost dreams and the ugliest scenes are played out before him.”
The film was produced by Aet Laigu through production company Meteoriit. It was written by Leana Jalukse.