Motherland (2010, Hannes Appell)

A shot from MOTHERLAND, directed by Hannes Appell.

Motherland wasn’t made with a reference copy of Film Symbolism for Dummies handy. Director Appell apparently had a copy of Film Symbolism for Complete Freaking Morons on hand instead. It’s painful to watch, especially towards the end. Appell actually gets worse after aping the little girl in red from Schindler’s List. I didn’t know you could get cheaper with sentimentality than ripping off Schindler’s List, but Appell manages.

The short is a mix of CG and live action. The design–combining Soviet architecture and Nazi Germany visual staples–isn’t bad. The CG isn’t particularly good though. Stevo Arendt’s photography is awful. It doesn’t match the CG lighting and Appell’s ambitions for Motherland flop due to its technical incompetencies.

As for the acting… none of the actors speak, which is probably a good thing. They’re terrible without dialogue; they’d probably be worse with it.

It’s a risible attempt at “deep” filmmaking.

1/3Not Recommended


Written and directed by Hannes Appell; co-directed by Krystof Zlatnik; director of photography, Stevo Arendt; music by David Christiansen; produced by Libor Tesacek and Felix Vollmar.

Starring Simona Sbaffi (Mother), Christina Uhland (Daughter), Moritz Gaa (Worker), Ulrich K. Günther (Capitalist) and Bernhard Linke (Soldier).


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