Leonor Serraille on Her Cannes Competition Film ‘Mother and Son’


Five a long time soon after successful Cannes’ Digital camera d’Or prize with her debut feature, “Jeune Femme,” French author-filmmaker Leonor Serraille graduated to a competitors slot with “Mother and Son,” a timely relatives drama spanning three many years. Serraille is a person of the 5 female administrators competing for this year’s Palme d’Or.

“Mother and Son” charts the lives of a youthful African girl, Rose, and two of her four young children, Jean and Ernest, who appear to France from the Ivory Coast in the 1980s with higher ideals. Juggling her parenting obligations and small-spending work opportunities, Rose nevertheless aspires to locate correct like and to fulfill her personal desires, but she finally struggles to attain a equilibrium concerning her roles as a mom and a female. Jean and Ernest, in the meantime, will just take various paths to fitting into French culture while coping with their identity conflicts and their mother’s lifestyle choices.

Serraille reported the idea of telling this tale sparked from conversations she experienced with her companion, who emigrated to France from sub-Saharan Africa at a young age.

“This movie is freely influenced by the life of my companion, with whom I have been dwelling for 18 years, and who instructed me that when he was escalating up he skipped examining or seeing issues that reflected his personal encounter,” stated Serraille, introducing that her lover advised her that if she was likely to notify this story, she had to “make it (her) very own.”

And that is precisely what she did. She invented people and explained to the tale as a sprawling, “romanesque” saga relatively than a socially acutely aware drama. “I envisioned the film as a tale or a novel that would be advised in images with impressionistic touches,” she explained, incorporating that she was also motivated to “explore themes of motherhood and family members due to the fact [she] experienced two youngsters in two many years.” Her 3 protagonists, Rose, Jean and Ernest are also richly layered characters whom she seen as “reminiscent to 19th century literary heroes.”

Whilst it is normally far more hard for woman administrators to get their second film financed, Serraille was equipped to accessibility a more substantial price range for “Mother and Son,” maybe for the reason that she had won the Golden Digital camera in Cannes with “Jeune Femme.”

“We produced ‘Jeune Femme’ with €800,000 and I filmed it with my digicam on the shoulder most of the time and for ‘Mother a Son,’ we had a larger finances [€3.8 million ($3.9 million)] but it was a a lot more complex film with extra characters … and we necessary more time to make it,” she mentioned. Serraille claimed she gave the tale a “richer canvas and scope by various the pictures and mise-en-scenes, whilst holding the concentration on the characters.”

The story is advised chronologically starting up in the 1980s but the narration is structured in 3 components, each informed by the eyes of the mom and her sons.

“It was a way to have interaction the audience more than enough to abide by this spouse and children by way of 30 decades, and preserve the narration alive, as well as permit for resonances,” claimed Serraille, who described Jane Campion’s “An Angel at My Table” as a reference for the movie construction.

On the area, “Mother and Son” marks a departure from “Jeune Femme,” whose tragicomic plot revolved all around a youthful solitary girl going by a distressing separation. But in point, both equally motion pictures supply multi-faceted portraits of gals confronted with adversity.

“Rose and Paula [the protagonist of ‘Jeune Femme’] have factors in widespread, they’re the two advanced and singular female characters,” mentioned Serraille, who praised Annabelle Lengronne for her effectiveness, “spanning various ages and mixing lightheartedness, fantasy and tragedy.”

Jean and Ernest, in the meantime, are performed by two sets of actors as small children and older people from unique backgrounds. Stephane Bak (“Twist à Bamako”) performs Jean, even though Ahmed Sylla (“The Climb”), who is greatest-regarded for his roles in well-known French comedies, stars as Ernest.

Generated by Blue Monday Prods., “Mother and Son” is getting represented in international marketplaces by MK2 Films.


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