During World War II Finland fought the Soviet Union twice between the years of 1939 and 1944, forcing more than 70,000 Finnish children to be evacuated to neutral Sweden to avoid the conflict. Based on the novel by Heikki Hietamies, Mother of Mine (2005) shows the vivid journey of a young Finnish boy Eero Lahti (Topi Majaniemi) who is shipped off to Sweden by his mother Kirsti Lahti (Marjaana Maijala) after the death of his father, who died fighting at the front line. A grief stricken and confused 9 year old finds himself on a train journey where a surrogate family awaits him. Directed by Klaus Härö, Mother of Mine is a heart breaking wartime drama focused around a coming of age story of a young boy who is forced to grow up in a world plagued by war.
Eero’s long journey ends at a farm where a Swedish couple Signe (Maria Lundqvist) and Hjalmar (Michael Nyqvist) are waiting for him. Right away there is some friction between him and his surrogate mother. He is constantly struggling to adjust to the abrupt and curt Swedish mother, who refuses to emotionally move on after her daughter’s unfortunate death. However over time, this surrogate family heals and bonds with one another and discovers that their surrogate family has become a real household.
Mother of Mine is a drama focused on characters and the journeys they undertake. Klaus Härö main objective is to take an emotional gripping and visually striking film and focus it on an individual war child. When the 9 year old is taken away from war, the narrative turns away from war and focuses itself on the relationship to his two mothers. One mother brought him into this world and the other taught him how to live. Director Klaus Härö plants the question into our minds “which one of these mothers is Eero’s real mother?” Eero’s biological mother bought him into this world but then made the difficult choice of sending him away. His surrogate mother made the choice to take him but right away was unwilling to move on and accept the death of her own daughter, this causing some emotional dissonance between the two. The films primary focus turns to the principals of the characters and their repressed feelings.
With the compelling and touching narrative, Mother of Mine is a tale of a young boy focused to grow up in a warring world. Even though the boy is physically taken away from war, his emotional and psychological presence is ravaged by it. The film identifies and targets viewer’s feelings and thoughts and shows them a vivid journey of a war child.