14 July

Now in Cinemas: 107 Mothers

In a Ukrainian women’s prison, inmate Lesya has just given birth to a son. Warden Iryna is concerned that he’ll be placed in an orphanage we he is 3, unless Lesya gets parole or finds an alternative home. Feature film with a documentary feel and a beautiful serene quality.

Lesya is serving seven years in the Odessa women’s prison in Ukraine for killing her husband. In prison, her son Kolya is born. The prisoner’s children can live near their mothers until they are 3. After that, they’re placed in an orphanage if there’s no alternative. Warden Iryna tries to convince Lesya to make amends with her mother and sister, so that they can take care of Kolya. Iryna herself doesn’t have children. She would like to, but she has to find a man first.

Beautiful and subdued acting and a tranquil portrayal of life in prison are interspersed with personal interview with inmates. They talk about life in prison, their crimes and motherhood, in stark, penetrating conversations. These women are brimming with experience, regrets, dreams and nightmares. Inspired by the real-life stories of the 107 mothers in the Odessa prison.

The film was previously shown at the Movies that Matter Festival 2022.