Capturing our children’s childhood is such a heroic, incredible idea. Most of us simply don’t have the resources, energy, or concept of doing so. But, filmmaker and mother Aslaug Holm, who filmed her two children over the course of eight years, did it. By doing so, she created an “unusually poetic and almost epic home movie” called “Brothers” that is available to watch on Sundance Now.
The mother began filming her sons the moment her oldest was born. The film follows the brothers over a course of 8 years as they grow and progress through adolescence. From first day of school jitters to angry outbursts at the world to sibling rivalry. Although they only speak Norwegian and there are English subtitles, it in no way takes away from the sincerity of the documentary. In fact, I feel as though it adds to the authenticity of their genuine, raw emotions and further draws you into their life.
Whether the boys are jumping into a frigid body of water, pulling down a large tree, or having a disagreement as brothers do, the simplicity of the film gives you the opportunity to experience it with them. At one point, the mom explains a little about her valiant effort to follow her boys and create this movie to share with the world. Her oldest son asked her about her dreams and she had to think about it. Finally, she responded with a statement about the work she was doing with them,
“When I decided to make a film about you, it seemed like a good idea… What on incredible opportunity! To film them from the beginning, when everything’s ahead of them, and everything’s possible. How big is a thought? Is it bigger than the world? Dare to think big. Be brave. Go out and discover the world. There are so many stories I should have told you about my own childhood. How good it was just to lie on the pier and wait for life to begin… What began as a small film has grown bigger and bigger.”
Her pursuit become an obsession that would, in turn, give us this “unique documentary about childhood, told by the mother of the boys over a period of eight years. It’s a story that reflects how parenting eventually leads its practitioners back to themselves, as their children drift, however lovingly, beyond their sphere of influence.”
Watch this Hot Docs-winning documentary, Brothers, exclusively on Sundance Now.
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