This film is no longer available. To view the Q&A with filmmakers, please click here.
A closely observed psychological portrait of four women, whose lives are bound together by an incident on the New York City subway.
David Gutnik is a Russian-American editor, writer and director. Materna, Gutnik's debut feature, was awarded Best Actress and Best Cinematography at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, where Gutnik was also nominated for Best New Director. He was a 2017 Sundance Institute Fellow and received his MFA in Film at Columbia University.
Film Review: Four women, perfect strangers to each other, are travelling on the New York subway. Upon first glance, they have nothing in common: different class, different religion, different culture. Yet beneath the surface, there is a lot that these four strangers share. They are each trying to navigate the complexities of being mothers, daughters and women in our fast-paced, ever-changing world. New York is a metropolis which offers anonymity but at the same time breeds loneliness and isolation. Families are complicated. How do you tell your mother you don’t want children? What if you have a child and they become a bad person? The audience is in the midst of learning about these women’s stories when an angry man in their carriage decides to make a scene. Who is he? Is he merely a troublemaker or is he about to change their lives? Awarded Best Actress and Best Cinematography at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, David Gutnik’s debut feature is already leaving its mark on the festival circuit, and rightly so. Long, poignant sequences evoke John Cassevetes’ intimate, character-driven storytelling and enable the four leads’ psychologically rich portraits of the women to truly shine. The film’s minimalist style allows the audience to focus on the intricacies of its narrative and delve deep into the inner lives of its characters. Materna is a poetic portrayal of womanhood. Gutnik’s women are powerful, flawed and fearless: real, modern women. Agi Liepniece