Thursday 24 Jul

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0


William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Documentary · Motherland


None August 18th, 2009


With documentaries, your film is at the mercy of what how real life unfolded in front of your camera. "Motherland" was somewhat shortchanged. It feels bad to knock it, given its subject matter, but it lacks the emotional buildup and, thus, eventual release that one expects.

Jennifer Steinman's film introduces us to five women who have lost a child (and one young woman who has lost a brother). Half of the tragedies were accidents; two were murders; and one, a suicide. None of the ladies are anywhere near being "over" their trauma, but some seem stuck in semi-shock.

The half-dozen women "” strangers to one another, but bound by this unfortunate commonality "” go to South Africa to help children in a particularly impoverished village, one in which HIV/AIDS is rampant. The kids there generally eat once a day, and many lose parents to the disease. Early on, one of our women picks up one child after another, and doles out long, drawn-out hugs; she's moved to tears, and so are we.

Strangely, that's the emotional climax, and we just got started. You'll feel for each woman as she opens her heart and shares her story, but the film remains at an arm's distance. It's not bad, but for all its effort in going halfway around the world, the journey is oddly inert.

While "Motherland" plays in limited release starting Aug. 26, Oklahomans will be able to view it online.

"”Rod Lott

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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