Nelleke Koop’s quiet but impactful Mom Calling focuses on three women caring for their aging mothers, all of whom are living with dementia. The women are part of the ‘sandwich generation’: they must balance jobs, and family obligations — including their own kids — with caregiving for their parents. It appears that Elin and her mother were never close; Carin has just retired but her mother’s declining mental health keeps her tethered to responsibilities; Hanna’s family is from Suriname, and her cultural inheritance is one of duty, patience, and honour for elders.
Through the camera’s patient observation, we come to understand how each woman’s responses are shaped by the specifics of their own relationships with their mothers, as well as their cultural values. Koop fixes her gaze on the main subjects as they move through their daily lives, driving about or taking transit, all while talking on the phone with their mothers, with other family members, and with healthcare providers. These stylistic choices create an intimate, thoughtful exploration of what it means to be responsible for a parent’s care. -MB
Isa Rao, UK, 2018, 14 mins
A young woman with a life-threatening disease cares for rescued and sick animals in this quiet reflection on kindness in the face of mortality.