Mothers and daughters
If you’re looking for a simple, feel-good film, stay away from Rodrigo García Barcha’s newest, Mother and Child, a gut-wrenching tale of three women and the relationships, or lack thereof, with their mothers and children, which is currently showing at the Verdi cinema in Gràcia.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for something that accurately reflects the complexity and ambiguity of quotidian life among us odd beings of the 21st-century, you’ll definitely want to see this film.
García, a longtime Los Angeles resident, writer and director, is also well-known for being the son of Gabriel García Marquez. His directorial and scriptwriting credits are more than strong enough to stand on their own, however, and include work on cutting-edge television series like In Treatment, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under and Big Love. His other films include Nine Lives and Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her.
His work is good enough to attract some highly-paid Hollywood acting talent, like Samuel Jackson and Naomi Watts in this film, to work for much less than normal.
“There’s so much about American films that are just meant to make you feel good,” he told Metropolitan. “ I want to look at the other thing. This kind of movie does better outside the U.S. There, they don’t want to go to the movies and be depressed, suffer, think, be puzzled and not have easy answers.”
His protagonists—usually women--reveal themselves as complicated characters, not easy to like or get to know. “I feel that the women that I write are more complex than the men, more differentiated. It often happens that when I’m writing a script that’s not working, I’ll grab a couple of the characters and change them from men to women and it’ll come together.”
What does he hope people will take away from Mother and Child? “I’m doing movies that are psychological and realistic so first of all I want people to feel like they saw something that rings true and genuine. They’re not in movie-land, with movie-feelings and easy movie-solutions. When the movie begins, the main character Karen [played by Annette Bening] is at war with life, and by the end she comes to a place where she’s open to life again. It’s not a totally happy ending, but her journey is a real one.”