Mother, Child

Having suffered a recent Stroke, a mother and her adult son are reacquainted and forced to live together. As they face the physical and psychological challenges head on, they’re placed on an emotional collision course, leading them to question whether their close proximity is such a good idea.

Director’s Statement

MOTHER, CHILD is not only a personal film, but a vital film in offering a unique perspective on an important issue. At its core, it deals with themes relating to Stroke recovery, rehab and the survivor/ carer relationship.

My mother, Kitty Pang, is a Stroke survivor, having suffered one in August 2015. She’s a single mum and I’m an only child. Having always known her as a strong, independent woman, seeing her completely rendered helpless in an instant was both shocking and unexpected.

I put life and career on hold in Sydney and moved back to the Gold Coast to care for her, which included a two month rehab stint in hospital before returning with her to Sydney in February this year.

My experience with mum morphed itself into a short film script. The scene follows a conversation between a mother and a son, as she readjusts to life after a Stroke, and he adjusts to the carer’s role.

Fundamentally, the film is about the road to recovery following a Stroke, and the consequences it has on the survivor and their loved ones. The responsibilities that carers take on, sometimes without any preparation, are remarkable and I have so much respect for their roles in the recovery process. The same must be said for Stroke survivors, with the challenges and realities of recovery at times potentially eclipsing the frightening first few moments of suffering a Stroke.

These are topics that aren’t represented enough in the national conversation about Stroke, yet it’s a reality for so many Australians. This short film offers a unique opportunity to explore and promote these messages in a visual and dramatic medium.

The wonderfully talented Lawrence Leung (OFFSPRING, MAXIMUM CHOPPAGE) and Gabrielle Chan (THE HOME SONG STORIES, THE LAST CHIP) make up our incredible cast. They play roles that are physically and emotionally taxing, with the added challenge of shooting the entire short film in one take.

I should have mentioned that earlier. MOTHER, CHILD is one entire take with no cuts – a testament to the talents of Director of Photography, Garry Phillips, and his fantastic camera, grip and gaffer team. We set ourselves the task of capturing this as a fusion of film and live theatre, yet still maintain the subtleties of cinema.

Of course, Production Designer, Louisa Eagleton, rounds out the creative, building a world of East meets West with her beautiful juxtapositions of colour and set placement. Her work accentuates the psychological prison that both characters live in, following such emotional upheaval. I’m so proud at what the crew has achieved here.

I believe that this is an important Australian story to tell, as I feel that my experiences are not unique. There are so many inspiring Stroke survivors and carers around the country and I’m hoping that this short film can add another voice to national campaigns for Stroke awareness, recovery and brain injuries.

I look forward to sharing this film with everyone and to #fightstroke together!