Sajad Imani, Iran 2022
A kind 80-year-old grandma named Mehri lives alone in a little town in Iran. Going through a lot of hardships in life, she has been awaiting in a little house on the foothill of the town for 35 years. Her sons haven’t visited her for 20 years.
Every day she mounts the hillside to see one of her sons’ houses, even though she’s old and her feet don’t have the same strength as before, hoping they might come out of their houses, and she could see them from a distance.
Bad Mother is a plant (known in English as the spider plant) that throws out its children, but it’s also a filmmaker who finds her voice despite fumbling. With her camera, Pili tries to understand if she is an imposter: a filmmaker who doesn’t know how to film, a B grade mother.
This is a film about learning to be a mother, made by an aspiring filmmaker who discovers the attraction of looking through the lens with new eyes.
The journal-like essay film embraces the urban environment around it with a cinematic outlook. A spider plant, oftentimes referred to as “bad mother”, found from a valley in Madrid, creates a humoristic metaphor for motherhood, “the most natural thing in the world.”
The comically insecure and surreal state of mind of a newborn’s mother is enlivened with audiovisual tools. Puerperium is a perfect example of how an experimental film can reach something that is hard to describe with words alone.
Sonja Löfström (translated by Vilma-Lotta Mustonen)