The Story of a Mother (2010) – By Philip Smolen

In a poor Italian village, a mother (Angela de Mateo) watches over her sick baby. She cares for the infant day and night until, finally overcome by fatigue, she closes her eyes for a few minutes. When she awakens, her baby has been carried off by Death. Galvanized into action, she runs to the forest, seeking help from any of its denizens. Some agree to guide her to where Death is bringing her child if she fulfills their asking price. Desperate, the mother agrees to their demands, even at the cost of her own eyesight. Finally, she confronts the Grim Reaper and demands that her child be returned to her. But she is unprepared for the final challenge that the Angel of Death presents her with.

“The Story of a Mother” is a beautiful 17 minute short film by Alessandro de Vivo and Ivano di Natale. Based on the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairly tale, the movie is magical and haunting and casts a captivating spell. Full of stunning imagery, de Vivo and di Natale draw you into a nightmarish world where every parent’s worst fear is realized. I was immediately emotionally invested in the plight of the helpless woman who is determined to save her newborn. Angela de Mateo is captivating as the mother. She is strong-minded, fearless and flashes a wonderful primitive strength as she faces challenge after challenge.

This is a wonderful short that does justice to its source material. Told with style and verve, “The Story of a Mother” is a dark fairly tale that successfully touches on some basic and primal fears.

To see the trailer for “The Story of a Mother”, please visit:

To find out more about “The Story of a Mother”, please go to: