Jan 11, 2019

IMDb: The Eyes of My Mother (2016)
Director: Nicolas Pesce
Stars: Kika Magalhães, Will Brill, Olivia Bond

I’d heard a lot about Nicolas Pesce’s debut film EYES OF MY MOTHER before I headed out to Saskatoon, and while most of it was positive, one word most of them used to describe it troubled me. That word was “Lynchian”. I suppose it’s blasphemy to say it, but I’m not a big fan of David Lynch or his style of film making. After seeing it I can see why so many people make the comparison.


As a young girl Francisca (Olivia Bond) witnesses the brutal murder of her mother (Diana Agostini SILENT PREDATOR) by serial killer Charlie (Will Brill BESIDE STILL WATERS) and the even more twisted response by her father (Paul Nazak). The resulting trauma leaves the grown Francisca (Kika Magalhaes) with some severe and deadly issues.

Filled with murder, madness, hints of incest, cruelty and spiced up with infrequent but shocking gore, but woefully cryptic and oblique in it’s story the film does indeed owe a huge debt to Lynch. It felt like an arbitrary progression of nastiness and weirdness for it’s own sake most of the time. Fans of this style of film will indeed love it, but I felt it needed to be fleshed out more (the story often skips years between incidents), with more of the gaps filled in. The films needed to be more cohesive to be blunt. It does have some disturbing and creepy images and scenes, but it never holds together or gels.

The film is shot in black and white which does give it a lot of atmosphere, cinematographer Zach Kuperstein does an incredible job making the ordinary seem mysterious and beautiful as well as downright horrifying at times.  In combination with the sparse and unsettling score by Ariel Loh it often gives the film the feel of a nightmare. With a better script it could have been a an exceptional film.

I haven’t said to much about the plot, because I recognize I’m in a minority on this one and a lot of people will enjoy it a lot more than I did. EYES OF MY MOTHER is one of those films where the less you know, the better off you’ll be going in. Just expect a grim, dark film with a lot of disturbing ideas.


Originally Published on November 22nd, 2016