Night Moves / World premiere

Mum and Dad

  • Steven Sheil /
  • United Kingdom /
  • 2008 /
  • 85 mins

Perry Benson, Dido Miles, Olga Fedori, Ainsley Howard, Toby Alexander / Fiction / English

Dysfunctional doesn't come close.

? In an interview published in Woman’s Own in 1987, Margaret Thatcher asked “Who is society? There is no such thing. There are individual men and women and there are families.” Later in the same piece she reiterated: “There is no such thing as society.” Set just outside Heathrow – that most seething and impersonal of global interchanges – Mum and Dad is a seriously disturbing domestic horror that measures Thatcher’s most famous statement against the cutthroat, self-seeking, globalised culture she helped to create. Individuals are separate and stranded – and families? They don’t seem to be providing the safe, crimeproof havens fantasised about by Tory traditionalists... Working as a toilet cleaner at Heathrow, Romanian immigrant Lena (Olga Fedori) is befriended by perky young colleague Birdie. After Birdie has established that Lena is estranged from her family, a series of misadventures prevent Lena from getting her bus home – and she’s welcomed into the bosom of Birdie’s close-knit family. As soon as the door closes on the shabby house near the runway, things are violently off, and only get more horrific. Lena is an instant captive of “Mum” (Dido Miles), a sleek torturess with a cloyingly maternal manner, and “Dad” (Perry Benson), a grotesque, insatiable sexual sadist. “You live with us now,” coos Mum – and that means an abandonment of any sense Lena might have of her personal dignity or safety. What’s scariest, perhaps, is the jocular semi-secrecy with which the couple regard their charnel-house. They conceal their acts, but not very well; the impression even as they dispose of the remains is that they’re up to something a little bit naughty. Hardcore pornography plays on the TV during breakfast. Combining truly transgressive imagery and visceral shocks with a cruel satire on the sentimental glorification of “family values”, Mum and Dad is a triumph of uncompromising low-budget invention, which plays like a British blend of Parents and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

Screening with:

Careful With That Axe

  • Jason Stutter /
  • New Zealand /
  • 2008 /
  • 2 mins

A boy, a farm, bare feet, an axe…

Director: Jason Stutter
Producer: Jason Stutter
Scriptwriter: Jason Stutter
Editor: Jason Stutter
Sound Production: Matt Stutter

2008 Archive

Image from Mum and Dad

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