My Mother is Pink
”Don’t follow me, I’m lost, too.”
I honestly wanted to see this movie for the title. Anything that begins with the word pink in it usually turns out to be something unforgettable. And well, you can definitely say that about this movie.
As performance artists, Michael and his mother, Malou, go on a road trip through Denmark and Germany in a pink camper, because why wouldn’t you? As Michael, the son, explains is: ”My mother has lived in over 37 different places, she could take off at a moments notice and I wouldn’t know why she went.”
The title could easily be ‘My mother is pink and I am blue’, which is sort of accurate since Michael spends most of the time painted blue. Why this colour scheme? Why the pink camper? Why this sudden road trip? These questions are answered during their journey, taken from different interviews with both mother and son.
The answer to why Michael, on the eve before the trip decides to paint himself blue all over to look like, as his mother says, a smurf to create a mask to hide behind. Not for the camera, but for his own emotions, as Michael explains that he still feels wounded by his mother’s absence in his youth.
But it’s not just a question of healing a relationship between Michael and Malou, who despite long absences and past quarrels, are both artistic and get along, but their relationship with Michael’s younger brother, who is shown at the beginning, apart from his family. He is a local farmer, who has chosen a more normal way of living, distancing himself from his brother and mother.
After the first twenty minutes or so, the promising beginning does not hold up throughout the film. Instead of the heartfelt journey of reconciling their past, it seems like mother and son do not know what to do about it. Or perhaps it is just the director, who cannot manage to get close enough to her subjects, as we seldom get to see them without their keen knowledge that the camera is there.
It feels a little too much like an episode of a reality show instead of a serious documentary. And an eerie sense of doubt creeps in now and then, and that age old debate of when a documentary is ”faking it” comes to mind. It all seems a little too impossible to believe at times. For instance, the images of Michael in the backseat of his mothers camper, glittering and blue all over in the dark of the city lights have been captured so well, you could easily mistake it for a scene out of a melancholy Sofia Coppola film. Beautiful, but empty all at once. The result of this is that it feels like watching a staged version of something that could have been a lot more personal and intimate.