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poster Oh Mother

documentary
42 min
English
BetacamSP
1998

directors
Sara Morley
Sandra Dametto
producer
Anne-Marie Gélinas
director of photography
Salvatore V Barrera
editors
Sara Morley
Sandra Dametto
sound
Sylvain Bellemare
original music
Jackie Gallant
Michael Boyce
Kathy Kennedy

Canadian distribution
Cinéma Libre
US educational distribution
Film for the Humanities

festivals
Montreal International Festival of New Cinema and New Media (FCMM)

released
1999

broadcast
Mothers' Day on WTN's
Hot Topics series

produced with the
participation of


SODEC Société de développement des entreprises culturelles - Québec

Government of Québec
(Québec Tax Credit Program)

The deferred salaries of the technicians and of the participants

Oh Mother! takes a strikingly intimate look at the lives of three generations of mothers. In separate profiles, Helen Bambic Workman, Katja MacLeod Kessin and Deborah VanSlet share private stories, impressions, memories and good old fashioned wives' tales that take us straight to the bosom of motherhood.

Helen became a mother in the 1950s. Like many women of her generation, she believed that motherhood would lead to absolute personal fulfilment. When it didn't, she began to make changes. She wanted to be seen as "Helen" and not "Mom". Now in her sixties, Helen speaks candidly about her four children, her mother, and her sense of autonomy.

When Katja became a mother in the 1970s, she was just a kid herself. With three children now in their teens, this self-proclaimed "artist at survival" recounts a life spent balancing childcare with the development of her artwork. She emerges as an artist whose paintings engage with life in the domestic sphere.

When Erica fulfilled a lifelong desire to have a child, her partner Deborah became a mother too. This 90s portrait of planned parenthood shows how two women distinguish their roles as "Mom" through their different approaches to and investments in parenting.

Oh Mother! raises the curtain on the domestic scene to discover the unique voices of Helen, Katja and Deborah. Their stories challenge prevailing myths and ideals - painting three dynamic portraits of motherhood.