Mother And Son has been labelled a masterpiece by none other than Martin Scorsese. Lesser mortals, however (like your average cinemagoer), may have problems staying awake - despite its brief running time. Traditional notions of narrative are thrown out of the window: there's a grand total of just two characters, a terminally ill old lady (Gudrun Geyer) and her devoted son (Alexei Ananishov), who lovingly tends his mum in a crumbling house in the middle of the Russian countryside. He reads out letters, fixes Mum's food and carries her outside for `walks', until she eventually passes away.
The dialogue is kept to a minimum, Sokurov (aided by special anamorphic lenses and an optical printer) instead presenting his audience with a series of distorted, painted images of the landscape, held for what feels like (and probably is) an eternity.