Mothers & Daughters

Director Carl Bessai
Genre Comedy
Runtime 85 minutes
Supplier Raven West Films
Festivals/Awards Women in Film& Television Artistic Merit Award - Vancouver International Film Festival 2008
Release Date In theatres on May 8, 2009


Carl Bessai returns with Mothers & Daughters, mining the rich terrain of the mother-daughter bond. Bessai's sparkling ensemble cast breathes life into six unique and beguiling characters. The high-strung pulp romance novelist Micki (Babz Chula) eclipses her sullen daughter Rebecca (Camille Sullivan), an actress who finds Mom overwhelming. Brenda (Gabrielle Rose) is a dedicated housewife and mother who is shocked to learn that her husband has left her for a younger woman. Her daughter Kate (Tiffany Lyndall-Knight) is less sympathetic, and appears more devastated by her father's departure than her mother. Celine (Tantoo Cardinal) is a Metis woman who owns her own business. When she is hired by Cynthia (Tinsel Korey), a young professional who was adopted into a white household many years earlier, a troubling question arises: could Cynthia be Celine's long-lost granddaughter?

With Mothers & Daughters, Bessai has created a film that is entirely fresh yet openly referential to iconic filmmakers and movements: Robert Altman, John Cassavetes, Mike Leigh and the Dogme95 set can all be sensed.

The keen performers deliver inspired moments from across the entire spectrum of emotions. A dinner party scene, during which Micki's friends debate the merits of her work, is a standout. It is a testament to ringleader Bessai and his onscreen team that Mothers & Daughters emerges as such a delightful work. Bessai has worked in collaboration with his actors, but while films created in this model often devolve into a series of performance exercises, here the filmmaker and cast remain disciplined, ensuring that each scene serves the complex web of stories. Never descending to the maudlin, the actors pay tribute to the intricacies of these relationships while simultaneously celebrating the art of performance itself. The result is a trenchant exploration of several different facets of the mother-daughter connection - the way buttons are pushed, the way bonds are rebuilt - with clarity and quite a lot of courage.

Women in Film& Television Artistic Merit Award - Vancouver International Film Festival 2008

Official Film Site


Cast & Credits

Micki Babs Chula
Brenda Gabrielle Rose
Celine Tantoo Cardinal
Rebecca Camille Sullivan
Kate Tiffany Lyndall-Knight
Cynthia Tinsel Korey

Press & Articles

“'Mothers & Daughters' an uneven union” - Sun Media

Mothers & Daughters

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