starring Hazel Doupe, Paul Reid, Carolyn Bracken, Ingrid Craigie
written and directed by Kate Dolan
by Bill Chambers Although I called last year's iteration of the Festival "the COVID-19 TIFF," it's really the 2021 crop of films that have been shaped by the pandemic, formally and, perhaps as a result, conceptually, the way Jørgen Leth wound up with five dissimilar incarnations of his experimental short The Perfect Human when Lars von Trier tasked him with remaking it under different sets of "obstructions." In a charming pre-taped intro that saw her receiving trick-or-treaters (points for creativity), writer-director Kate Dolan talked about how difficult it was shooting You Are Not My Mother during the second lockdown in Ireland, but there's a low-key expressionism to the film that might be a happy accident, a bonus stemming from compromise. Our young heroine navigates a near-apocalyptically empty suburbia, which feels not necessarily true, but right, externalizing her feelings of isolation along with her vulnerability. The movie isn't pushing any envelopes, however, and is, to some extent, modest to a fault.