MSU Cinema International Begins Spring 2023 German Features with 2021 Drama 'Mein Sohn'
Murray State's Cinema International program kicks off its triple-feature German series with the 2021 drama Mein Sohn this week. Austin Carter speaks to program director Dr. Thérèse St. Paul ahead of the program screenings.
From the MSU Cinema International website:
"An emotional drama about a young man and his mother who are radically different. When her daredevil son Jason has a serious skateboard accident, photographer Marlene decides to drive him all the way from Berlin to a rehabilitation center in Switzerland. This turning point in their lives frames the story as a road movie during which mother and son struggle for closeness and distance. Something from the past is making its way to the surface with every kilometer they drive, inevitably ending up in old conflicts and raising many questions."
"[The film] is full of dialogues that are interesting, and I think interesting for a lot of people because they can identify," St. Paul says. "It's about dealing with a teen, dealing with someone, like, who are you? How did you get to be someone I don't understand? We see the development of the relationship between the travelers [and] get a glimpse of what happens between the scenes and why they don't get along."
St. Paul explains that Mein Sohn explores the challenges of viewing our children and parents as people outside of our interfamilial relationships. "[Jason] doesn't know anything about [Marlene]. He doesn't seem to know that before he was born, she was going to have a career, go to the U.S., then he came along, and that shattered those wishes. I think it shows that children don't always see their parents as humans—imperfect with hopes and aspirations."
"He gets to see her because they have a lot of detours on the trips, highlighting different aspects, and he sees his mom differently. He hears about who she used to be before he came along, and I think that's very important. He starts looking at her with different eyes. Also, we see that women have to make sacrifices. A lot of women make sacrifices to have a child, and that's important to talk about."
"We don't really hear about the father," St. Paul continues. "It seems like he's not there or never has been there. We don't really know. It focuses on the single mom and her teen son and how difficult communication can be, and also how important it is to see people as people. Family dynamics are difficult because we're set in certain roles, and that can cause problems."
"Thursday, we're inviting Dr. Malm, who's from the psychology department and specializes in teen psychology. So, I think that will be a good discussion that people who can relate might want to take part in. We may have a good discussion on experiences or different takes on the movie. It's all in nuances. It's a very thoughtful movie."
MSU Cinema International presents Mein Sohn on Thursday, February 9th, and Saturday, February 11th, at 7:30 pm in Faculty Hall, room 208. Screenings and discussions are free and open to the public. For more information on the MSU Cinema International program, including how to donate, visit its website.