The feature-length debut from Croatian director Jure Pavlović, whose acclaimed short ‘PICNIC’ won the European Film Academy Award (EFA) for the Best European short film in 2015, MATER is an intimate and unflinching portrayal of a complex Mother-Daughter relationship enduring it’s final days and hours.
In MATER, Jasna (Daria Lorenci-Flatz) returns to her childhood home in order to care for her dying mother. Transplanted from her family life in Germany and caring for her own young children, she is called home to Croatia, where she finds herself enveloped in a very different and quickly suffocating environment. Stubborn, confrontational and perhaps even manipulative, Jasna’s mother does not make her daughter’s return easy. Jasna calls on family members, old friends and carers in an attempt to provide comfort in these final days. Instead, she realises that she must navigate a tangled web of grudges dating back to her own childhood, hoping to find a semblance of peace.
Quietly intense and shot with a striking sense of realism, Pavlović’s first feature immediately establishes the Croatian filmmaker as a talent living up to his early acclaim. As Jana, Dana Lorenci-Flatz offers a vulnerable performance as a woman forced to strength of her love, daunted by the authority still radiating from her mother’s immobile body.
A slow-burning meditation on loss, forgiveness and pain, MATER is provocative and blisteringly honest independent cinema.