“The Whore’s Son”
Accepting the Truth
Coming-of-age films seem to be the thing lately and “The Whore’s Son” (Picture This) takes a new approach—how does a child learn to accept the fact that his mother works as a prostitute. How will a son feel when he finds out that she was a prostitute before he was born and has remained in that profession his entire life? The sad thing is that this question gives an interesting premise for a film but it is not realized under the direction of Michael Sturminger. He seems to do everything right—his actors are good, the script is literate, the cinematography is beautiful but these things for some reason just do not fit. The dialog is so bad that it is often embarrassing. The story which is great falls short and everything that happens is totally expected.
The title makes us expect a look at the seamy side of life—it is a tame film that looks at a young boy’s feelings toward his mother. Ozren (played wonderfully by young Stanislav Lisnic) has somewhat of a crush on his own mother, Silvija, who loves her son but in quite a moody way. Ozren believes she works as a waitress and as Silvija goes to work each night, Ozren is left with her widowed sister and he is usually in bed before she returns from work.
Politics also plays a part in the film. Silvija’s brother, who also cares for Ozren occasionally, is a loyalist to Tito. The adults in the film try to keep the boy unaware of his mother’s occupation but as he reaches puberty he begins to question her work. He has already been called a whore’s son by the driver of one of Silivja’s tricks and he begins to understand what the word “whore” means. As Ozren matures, he becomes more and more infatuated with his mother and she, meanwhile, begins to attract a more upscale clientele. As she gains wealth, Ozren begins to lust after her. She finally moves into a more expensive apartment and Ozren takes a job cleaning at a strip club. It is then that he realizes what his mother is.
From this summary, it is easy to see what a wonderful movie could have been but what we get seems to be both unfinished and underdeveloped. The movie covers fourteen years as it tells the story of the son and the mother who are Croatian refugees living in Germany. The standout of the film is Ozren who comes across as sensitive and his performance is indeed worthy enough to warrant seeing this film.