The Austin Chronicle

https://www.austinchronicle.com/screens/2009-03-20/756044/

SXSW Film 09 Reviews

Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, March 20, 2009, Screens

Motherland

Documentary Feature, Emerging Visions
D: Jennifer Steinman

Six American women who have lost their children – some to car crashes, some to violence, one to suicide – travel to South Africa to volunteer among the AIDS-ravaged population in hopes of healing and bonding. Through feeding, playing with, and dancing with starving, disabled, and orphaned children, the women learn the art of taking care of one another; especially moving is the relationship that blossoms between Mary Helena, whose son Aaron was gunned down in a Racine, Wis., parking lot, and Anne, whose daughter committed suicide at age 15. There are many, many tears over the duration of their 17-day stay, but there is joy as well: at church, cuddling chubby babies, riding ostriches. The mothers are mentored by their homestay hostess, Hazel, whose daughter died in the 1990s. "God has a way of soothing the pain," she says. "You don't forget, but it becomes lighter and easier to handle."

Wednesday, March 18, 4:30pm, Alamo South Lamar

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