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Films to Watch This Mother’s Day | CinemaWorld

Films to Watch This Mother’s Day | CinemaWorld

This month, we celebrate all the supermoms out there who have so graciously set aside part of themselves and their lives to harbour a safe space for us, nurturing and loving us so unconditionally.

As a love letter to mothers all around the world, CinemaWorld is featuring a limited time release of a the short film Reflections of a Housewife by Singaporean filmmaker, Alena Kristine Yeo. For her Final Year Project at the School of Art, Design and Media (ADM), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Alena turned to her mother as the subject for her documentary.

For this special feature, Alena lets us in on her inspiration and filming process behind her documentary.

CMW: I loved your “found footage” approach, combining both old videos from your childhood and stitching it with new footage that you shot. What inspired you to create this documentary, and what was the story that you wanted to tell through it?

AY: The idea for this film came to me during my exchange programme in Germany when I was brainstorming concepts for a documentary. I love stories of people that elevate the ordinary to the extraordinary and I wanted to delve into the life of my mother, who sometimes expressed self-doubt as a homemaker. This led me to discover her profound contentment with her chosen path, despite societal pressures and misconceptions surrounding homemaking.

It prompted reflections on the freedom of choice she exercised and the societal stigmas attached to traditional roles. I felt compelled to explore these themes further, shedding light on the dynamic and multifaceted nature of homemaking and sharing the richness of life, even though society might tell you otherwise. 

The inspiration behind this documentary was twofold: to challenge preconceived notions about homemaking and to provoke audiences to contemplate the societal hierarchy of occupations. I aimed to dismantle the conventional "scale of value" that often marginalises roles like homemaking, advocating for a broader recognition of their significance and contribution to society.

Through this film, my overarching message is to demonstrate that the life of a homemaker is far from mundane; it is a narrative rich with meaning, purpose, and value. By sharing my mother's story and exploring the complexities of her role, I aspire to foster a deeper appreciation for homemakers and ignite conversations about the diversity of human experiences.

CMW: Narratively, what was your intention behind fusing old and new footage to create this documentary, along with scenes of your neighbourhood and home?

AY: In creating this documentary, I aimed to blend past and present footage to offer viewers a layered narrative that resonates emotionally. Combining the old footage taken by my parents and storytelling, the film provides a nostalgic glimpse into my mother's experiences from decades ago. 

As she shares her reflections, the transition to archival footage bridges the temporal gap, immersing viewers in her journey. Additionally, scenes of our neighbourhood and home serve as backdrops, grounding her story in familiar settings and transporting the audience to the life of my mother. 

CMW: What was the process of shooting this documentary? Was it simply a recording of the day-to-day life of your mother or were the scenes more intentional and curated? 

If the latter is so, was there an expectation of what was to be shared by your mother? And, did the final production mirror or alter any initial expectations or beliefs regarding motherhood?

AY: The process of shooting this documentary was entirely organic and unscripted. Initially, I had planned to conduct formal sit-down interviews with my mother. However, during a casual camera test, I noticed her natural ease in front of the lens, leading to spontaneous and authentic conversations. This raw approach added a genuine depth to the film, allowing viewers to connect more with her.

Regarding my expectations, the final production indeed mirrors my initial belief that my mother, as a homemaker, may have underestimated her societal worth. Through our conversations captured on camera and discussions with others, she made some realisations that resonated with the film's message.

CMW: Your mother is quite the character – her wit is infectious and her charms make the documentary all the more intimate and authentic. During the filming, were there moments which surprised you, or perhaps offered you another perspective into her experience of motherhood/motherhood in general? 

AY: She most certainly is charming. What truly stayed with me was the opportunity to delve deeper into her percaspective on the experience of being a homemaker and have conversations that I never had before.

Listening to her candid reflections provided insights into her thoughts, feelings, and experiences, allowing me to gain a deeper understanding of the nuances of motherhood and homemaking. These moments of introspection anchored the central message of the film and gave me a deeper appreciation for her role in the family. 

CMW: Has your mother watched the documentary? If so, what were her thoughts on it?

AY: My mother hasn't had the opportunity to watch the documentary yet.

Although I have all the content I need, I've made the deliberate decision to reserve her viewing until I've completed a feature-length version of the film to ensure authenticity and integrity throughout the reshooting process. 

Stay tuned for the full feature which has a lot more golden nuggets! 

CMW: It certainly seems like you and your siblings share a close bond with your mother – is there a particularly fond memory of your mother that has stayed with you? Why so?

AY: A fond memory of our mother is her bedtime tradition of singing us to sleep when we were kids. With her love for theatrics, she brought our childhood to life and made bedtime entertaining with her singing and animating our stuffed toys for laughs. These moments are definitely times we bonded and made a lasting impression on my childhood. 

Films about Motherhood

Just like Alena's mother in Reflections of a Housewife, being a mother comes with a multitude of responsibilities and sacrifices. In these two films specially picked by Team CinemaWorld, both mother figures undergo a process of change, as they learn to adapt to their maternal roles while maintaining their sense of individualism.

Commitment Asli


In this 2019 Turkish drama, young mother, Asli, struggles to reconcile her commitments as a mother and wife with her professional career. She hires Gulnihal, a nanny and a fellow mother, to support her overwhelming workload but Gulnihal’s arrival forces Asli to confront the ugly truth about her misaligned priorities that she has been avoiding.

My Son


A skateboarding accident of her adventurous but reckless son Jason (Jonas Dassler) becomes a turning point in the life of photographer Marlene (Anke Engelke).

Realising the severity of Jason’s injuries, doctors inform them that only special rehabilitation in Switzerland can help. Marlene decides to abandon her work to drive her son across Germany, from Berlin to Switzerland, to seek the medical treatment Jason desperately needs. However, this difficult road trip takes the mother-son duo on an unexpected journey of self-discovery as they learn to stand in each other’s shoes.

Be the first in line for the behind the scene insights with acclaimed directors and exclusive Asian premieres of award-winning international films or box-office hits, join our community of film lovers now!

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