Within the arena of the short film some filmmakers – perhaps free from large budgets and plot conventions – find the comfort to be more expressive and experimental than they would be able to be in a feature film. Paulina Ziółkowska – writer, director and the mind behind the aesthetic of O Matko! (Oh Mother!) – has made a remarkably individual piece that offers a wonderful visual and audio experience while also posing questions on the ever-evolving mother-son relationship.
As soon as the first characters land on screen, the artistic style becomes striking and evocative, its sketch-like nature creating a nostalgia that has been married to an artistic maturity in its execution. The style of the art enhances feelings of maternal care with soft shading and gentle line work before suddenly throwing the young boy into an unnerving world of harsh lines and harsh contrast.
One of the many things that draws the audience into this intriguing film is the almost poetic use of the medium. The film is comprised of short statements, which feel like stanzas, each presenting a situation that often becomes abstract in its imagery and requires the viewer to engage in the often unsettling metaphors before them.
Thematically this film explores the complex and ever-changing mother-son relationship that can shift dynamic dramatically or subtly in everyday situations. Through its bold stylistic choices and embrace of the abstract, O Matko! addresses some of the difficulty that can come with such changes and the courage it takes to adapt.
O Matko! is a primary example of what is possible within the short film medium, showcasing some of the limitless ways in which creators can express themselves and their ideas about the universality of life and families. It sweeps viewers up in intimate memories and feelings in an honest way, offering an insight into the lives of others.
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DIRECTOR: Paulina Ziółkowska
WRITER: Paulina Ziółkowska
PRODUCER: Piotr Furmankiewicz, Mateusz Michalak
PRODUCTION MANAGER: Maria Deskur
MUSIC: Tomasz Opałka
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Joanna Dudek
ANIMATION: Paulina Ziółkowska, Natalia Krawczuk, Barbara Rupik, Karolina Specht, Aleksandra Wit, Artur Hanaj, Aleksandra Kucwaj, Zofia Skorka, Beata Strzelecka, Wojciech Wojtkowski
EDITOR: Wojciech Janas
SOUND: Piotr Mejran
PRODUCTION: FUMI Studio
SYNOPSIS: The ever-changing nature of mother-son relationships throughout different stages of life are explored in abstract sketches.