Bispuri and her actresses offer a striking study in contrasts.
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While some of Bispuri’s scripting can be a bit too pointed for a story that traffics in such elemental textures (a brief flashback scene is particularly ill-advised), the film renders each of Vittoria’s mothers with such riveting and unvarnished empathy that you hardly even notice how their daughter is growing up before your eyes, stronger than the both of them.
The tense triangle among the girl and her two moms unfolds against an interesting backdrop: a stark setting in rural Sardinia, where tall cliffs and dirt roads criss-cross a shrub-infested desert. Its general wildness is underlined in the first scene at a local bronco-busting rodeo.
Bispuri challenges us to do away with conventional notions of what a perfect mother should be.
Even when it trips up in its later stages, Daughter of Mine is a noble rarity, passionately involved in the exploration of oppositional ideas of motherhood not just as an abstract concept, but as a real and vivid, painfully sacrificial thing.
A bold and colourful, but by no means superficial portrait of femininity, Daughter of Mine successfully embodies a set of ideas – and anxieties – about motherhood that eloquently reflect a contemporary need to reevaluate the traditional family unit.