By Will Barber Taylor
A film with a trans character at the heart of it, telling a universal story: When Kate goes back to see her mother after a few years away, she realises that far from being ready for a day out, her mum is gravely ill. And no one thought to tell her. She takes matters into her own hands and although she doesn’t get the day she wanted, she gets the day she needed.
Mum is a revolutionary film, in that it deals with two sensitive subjects; trans gender people and death. Rather than dealing with them separately, Mum combines the two issues into a heart warming and deeply emotional film which never shies away from the painful areas of both, something that for a short film is a great achievement. Writer and director, Anne Marie O’Connor’s artful script ensures that neither topic is over or underplayed and as such delivers the greatest possible dramatic power possible.
The performances are excellent, particularly Kate (Kate O’Donnell) who plays the part of the daughter struggling to come to terms with herself and her mother’s illness. O’Donnell’s face conveys a great deal of complex emotions skilfully and it is through her that we can empathise and understand the other characters fully – something that is down to the skill of O’Donnell and Anne Marie O’Connor’s magnificent writing and directing.
In conclusion, Mum is a thoughtful, understated and enjoyable film which looks at two highly charged and emotional issues with care, tenderness and depth. I would highly recommend it as a piece of art that looks beyond the boundaries of normal human life and encourages us to understand one another.