After his father dies in battle, Finnish youth Eero (Topi Majaniemi) learns that his mother, Kirsti (Marjaana Maijala), is packing him off to live with a Swedish foster family. As World War II escalates, Eeros new home in the neutral nation is safe, but he struggles to bond with his guardian (Maria Lundqvist). He eventually returns home, but Eero never quite believes in his mother again. Decades later, an elderly Eero (Esko Salminen) learns details that put Kirstis decision into perspective.
Mother of Mine (Finnish: , Swedish: ) is a 2005 Finnish-Swedish film directed by Klaus Haro. The film is based on a novel by Heikki Hietamies. It received good reviews from the Finnish press, and was selected to be Finlands submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 78th Academy Awards.
The film had its world premiere at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, where it finished fifth in the audience balloting.
943: Nine-year-old Eero whose father is killed during the war is brought to Sweden to foster parents to his protection like thousands of other Finnish children. Eero feels lost, particularly as his foster mother Signe behaves very unfriendly. She was expecting a little girl and still mourns for her daughter who drowned in the sea.
The story is a discussion between Eero and his biological mother (Kirsti), where they are talking to each other and clarifying their misunderstanding and difference in present time. Eero has just come back from his visit from Sweden for Signes (Swedish mother) funeral.
The plot of the story is based on the time of the Second World War and the main character of the story is a Finnish boy (Eero Lahti). The biological father of Eero (Kari-Pekka Toivonen) is in the Finnish army. He dies in the front and Eeros mother Kirsti falls into deep depression. As the war gets worse, Eero is sent to Sweden to a new Swedish family. In the new family, he has a father Hjalmar Jonsson, mother Signe Jonsson and a grandfather (who cannot speak but hears everything). He also meets the neighbor’s daughter Siv.
Despite Hjalmar being very welcoming, Eero is not willing to stay in Sweden and wants to go back to his biological mother. Signe is frustrated in Eeros unwillingness to adjust to the situation. She is also frustrated in the language barrier and the fact that she wanted to have a small girl instead of Eero. There is a reason why she wished to have a girl; it is later revealed that she had lost her six-year-old daughter Elin 2 years earlier in an accident (drowning).
In the struggle of the change Signe wants the boy to learn Swedish. After a long struggle to adjust, slowly Signe starts to attach to the boy and she starts loving him. And getting attention, care and affection, the boy starts attaching too, and that leads to their having a tight mother-son relationship.
The war ends and Germany loses the war with Russia. The children taken to Sweden safe from the war are now being returned to their homes in Finland.
The situation in Finland (Helsinki) gets better, and that means Eero has to return to his biological mother and leave the Jonsson family in Sweden. The bond between his Swedish family has by then grown so much stronger that he is unwilling to go back to Helsinki. But despite of his wishes and Signes resistance, Eero is sent back to Finland to his mother Kirsti.
Later, in a scene where Eero and his mother are older, Eero tells his mother that back then, it was impossible to ever have the same relationship with his biological mother that they used to. As a child, he was certain that once he lets someone come close to him, he is in risk of losing everything again. Eero was afraid that her mother will leave him again if things get worse. The adult Eero even tells his mother, that when he came back from Skane, Kirsti (his biological mother) wasnt a mother to him anymore.
The highly emotional storyline is a vivid description of the time of war in Finland.Topi Majaniemi Eero Lahti
Esko Salminen Eero Lahti (present day)
Marjaana Maijala Kirsi Lahti, mother of Eero
Aino-Maija Tikkanen Kirsi Lahti (present day)
Maria Lundqvist Signe Jonsson, Eeros mother in Sweden
Michael Nyqvist Hjalmar Jonsson, Eeros father in Sweden
Klaus Haro directed Mother of Mine and Elina: As If I Wasnt There. Tuomas Kantelinen composed the music for Mother of Mine and Ambush. Kari-Pekka Toivonen appears in Mother of Mine and Producing Adults. The Last Sentence (2012). The Match Factory Girl (1990).
At Finlands principal annual film awards, the "Jussis", Mother of Mine received nominations in six categories and won three awards:Best Actress - Maria Lundqvist
Best Cinematography - Jarkko T. Laine
Best Set Design - Cian Bornebusch
At Swedens official annual film awards, the Guldbagge Awards, Mother of Mine received two nominations, Maria Lundqvist for Best Actress in a leading role (who won), and Michael Nyqvist for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (who lost).
The film won several other awards:Golden Pyramid Award at the Cairo International Film Festival
Lubeck Nordic Film Days
Palm Springs International Film Festival
Satellite Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Sao Paulo International Film Festival
Maria Lundqvist won awards atSao Paulo International Film Festival
Cairo International Film Festival
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival