“Remember the war, Mother? Remember how it all started?”
The war breaks out and nine-year-old Eero’s father is killed at the front. Widowed and broken by grief, Eero’s mother is unable to look after her son. She sends him in refuge to Sweden, a neutral country whose welfare is untouched by the war.
Life in a foreign country doesn’t however get off on a good start. Eero doesn’t seem to match the expectations of the Swedish family and austere Mother Signe has him working as farmhand. Everyone around Eero speaks Swedish and he ends up living in a disconnected world of his own.
Worst of all, the letters from Eero’s mother are always addressed to Signe. One day Eero gets hold of a letter from his mother in which she writes that Eero should perhaps stay in Sweden for good. Eero is shocked, but abandoned by his real mother, he becomes more and more attached to Signe. Little by little Eero becomes part of the new family and Signe becomes his mother.
But the war ends and the children must return to Finland. Once again Eero has to leave his home and start all over again. The scars of war have to be buried in the past.
On the death bed of his aged mother, Eero looks his past in the eye. After decades of silence, Eero is finally ready to talk about the war, his mother’s choices and his own pain. —Matila Röhr Productions. (Mubi)
During World War II, more than 70,000 Finnish children were evacuated to neutral Sweden to avoid the conflict. “Mother of Mine”, the latest from the award-winning Klaus Härö (Elina – Som om jag inte fanns (2002)), tackles that painful patch of history in a tale of 9-year-old Eero, a child who increasingly feels abandoned by his biological Finnish mother and yet not attached to his Swedish surrogate mom. When he is returned to Finland, his confusion intensifies.
1943: 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 situation changes when Eero’s mother tells with a letter that she wants to go with her lover to Germany and Eero should remain with his foster mother. Thus Eero becomes Signe’s son. Now she cares lovingly for him. Eero makes friends with the little girl Siv and enjoys childhood for a while. However, after the end of the war the boy has to go back to Finland against his will where his mother waits for him. Never again he will be able to trust her, since she has disappointed him too often. 60 years later, invited to Signe’s burial, he will understand while reading all letters that both women only wanted the best for him.. (Imdb)