What is it about ?
Mina, a 13-year-old Ethiopian girl, was adopted at birth by Judith and Lionel, a united couple, already parents of a biological daughter. Adolescence will tip her into a destructive spiral against which she can do nothing and turn into a ball of aggression that will divide the whole family. Will the love and kindness of his parents be enough to heal his wounds and ease his sufferings?
Bad mother, directed by Adeline Darraux and written by Isabel Sebastian based on the novel by Judith Norman
With Barbara Schulz, Thierry Godard, Jessyrielle Massengo, Sophie Breyer, Luce Mouchel, …
Tuesday April 14 at 9 p.m. on France 3
Well worth a look ?
After La Maladroite or Une Mère sous influence, France 3 continues this evening in its policy of societal fictions punch with Mauvais Mère, a new TV film crowned with the prize for Best Unit Fiction at the last Luchon Festival. But contrary to what its title might suggest, there is no question here of mistreatment or neglect. No, Judith, the heroine camped out by Barbara Schulz, is actually the complete opposite of a “bad mother”. But despite all her love, she cannot make Mina happy, which she and her husband adopted in Ethiopia when she was only a few months old. After a seemingly innocuous question about her date of birth, Mina, already in the midst of a teenage crisis, will waver in a spiral of anger and questioning. And upset the balance of his whole family. To the point of no return?
By adapting the autobiographical account of Judith Norman (Bad mother, or the Wounds of adoption), the director Adeline Darraux signs a hard-hitting family drama which, starting from the extreme case of an adoption that goes badly, draws up especially with great accuracy the portrait of a conflicting mother-daughter relationship, where both , crumbling under the weight of resentment, incomprehension, or exhaustion, can no longer communicate. While recalling in passing that the adoption process – and the building of a family where the bonds of the heart must replace those of the blood – is never easy. The fear of abandonment, the identity crisis, or even the lack of belonging are so many themes developed brilliantly by this TV film which multiplies very strong sequences and goes crescendo to the rhythm of the helplessness of parents, who do not understand how their daughter can be both “adorable” and “cruel”, and the “fall” of Mina who, between a mother who is not her “real mother”, a father who spends everything to her, and a great too perfect sister with whom she can never compete, ends up exploding.
As is often the case in this kind of drama, the success of the ensemble depends above all on the actors, all excellent. Too rare on television, Barbara Schulz (The Mystery of the Lake, Ben) is perfect of subtlety in the skin of this unarmed mother, while Thierry Godard (Engrenages, Un Village français, Le Temps est assassin) turns out to be particularly upsetting of truth in the scenes he shares with the young Jessyrielle Massengo. Sacred Best Female Hope in Luchon for her performance, the interpreter of Mina, revealed last year by the new version of the shortcom Parents instructions for use, is stunning in the role of this teenage girl bruised by invisible or even dormant injuries , but nevertheless very real, of abandonment and of the adoption that followed. Very well surrounded by Sophie Breyer, who camps the big sister Elise, and Luce Mouchel (Tomorrow belongs to us), this trio of actors carries on their shoulders this very beautiful unitary who despite a line sometimes a little too supported in his narration carries us away by the emotional force of his words and his characters.
Note that France 3 rebroadcasts at 10:40 p.m. Une Mère sous influence, with Caroline Anglade and Julie de Bona, the production of which is also by Adeline Darraux.