Berlin Film Festival - Missing Mother and boy revelation

Single mom, too young, loving, caring but absent, needing much attention as her two sons, unknown father. So begins the movie Jack, by the German Edward Berger, in which he tells the story of ten year old boy, who takes full responsibility for his younger brother while the mother works or goes out or have fun in the closed room with a boyfriend.

An opportunity to discover a great child actor, Ivo Pietzcker , who has a security and a naturalness that surprised and impressed hundreds of journalists present at the press conference with the director and actors from the film.

The film was virtually impossible to understand for the Brazilians, for whom children without good protection will stop at Febem to become bandits. In Germany, it shows in the movie, the social service quickly takes care of the education of children left abandoned in homes equipped with every comfort and with social workers.

Does this mean that the behavior of average middle-class, absent mothers, without being drugged and not addicted, is caused by modern life? Maybe not, according to the French sociologist Elizabeth Badinter (wife of former French minister Robert Badinter responsible for ending the death penalty in France) who has written a controversial book, in which she claims that there is a cultural factor in motherly love and the arising responsibilities. Something that is learned and developed and not natural and instinctive.

So the film Jack goes contrary to the common places that every mother is devoted to, showing early maturity in an extremely responsible child who is lacking love, the mother cared little for the two brothers lost in the night, sleeping outside and even going hungry.

Edward Berger, the director, says he was inspired by this subject when his son, after a weekend football match, presented to him a team-mate, with his backpack, going back to the children's home, different from the image of a place of sad and angry children.

"In my film, I show a very young mother also looking for someone to give love and affection and when she finds it, she forgets the children".

Ivo, rookie revelation, said he attended the casting, thanks to information from a friend of his mother in school, about looking for a boy for the movie. He did not seem to be very interested, because first he went to play football with his friends and then his father took him to the studio where Edward Berger was not too keen on taking the test, as Ivo had arrived late and there was soon to show the final of the German football championship.

Showing an incredible maturity and virtually monopolizing the news conference, Ivo said that it was normal to make new movies for actors his age, but does not consider his future as an actor.

Rui Martins
Translated from the Portuguese version

Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey