Motherland - 2009
Six women sharing the same sort of profound grief come together to help others while coming to terms with their own loss in this documentary by Jennifer Steinman. Debbi works as a paramedic with an ambulance company. Anne is married to a man in the advertising business and spends her spare time working with children's charities. Mary Helena works as an actress and storyteller. Barbara is completing her degree in nursing while she finalizes her divorce. Kathy is married to a policeman and works in the emergency ward of a hospital. And Lauren is a college student in her early twenties. While these women all come from different walks of life and cultural backgrounds, they have one thing in common -- each of them has had to live with the pain of losing a child, except for Lauren, who is mourning the death of her brother. In late December 2006, the six women traveled to South Africa to spend two and a half weeks volunteering with children's organizations, day-care facilities, centers for abused children, and support groups for at-risk teens. Far from home, the women devote themselves to the shattered lives of others while coming to terms with their own grief; by bonding with one another and a community of welcoming strangers, they come to understand how the death of their loved ones has changed them and how to find a way out of sorrow. Motherland was an official selection at the 2009 South by Southwest Film Festival.