‘Mamas and Papas’ (2010) reviewed ★★★★★

Adventuring to local film festivals is always an interesting experience in terms of quality. You’ll never know what you’re in for. Granted that the opening film and closing film will usually be safer bets, it’s always important to cruise in the in-between. Mamas and Papas is a film from the Czech Republic, directed and written by Alice Nellis. More important than the actual story is the way in which it’s told. A spiritual film revolving around fertility and the life changing events or choices that four interconnected couples are having to struggle with. While one couple seems to be extremely fertile and unwilling, opting for abortion, another couple is infertile, needing to adopt. On the other hand, while one couple is having too many kids, in need to give their newborn up for adoption, another couple just lost their only daughter, suffering the pain of death in their family. These four stories are skillfully crafted in a manner that gives the audience fragments of information only when necessary, rapidly exiting scenes half way through, revealing to us their conclusions only when paralleled with the rest of the stories.

For those who enjoy the films of either Krzysztof Kieslowski or Alejandro González Iñárritu, one will definitely feel a similar style to this picture. All the stories in this film are connected not only through situation, but through technicality. Scenes will swiftly pass us by as another event will unravel, revealing mysteries and details from the previous stories. It is quite a rare experience when one ends up relating to the characters of an altogether tragic story, yet leaving in an uplifting realization that the intention of all good films is to achieve that very connection. Situations that happen every single day are introduced uniquely through the dissecting of what it really means to be a parent, and that sometimes, the very idea of life, existence and fertility in itself is something much grander than the flaws in our own personal relationships.

Thank you for reading,

Omar Antonio Iturriaga