Driving Mum – comedic tale of one man’s journey across Iceland, with his dead mother
Diving Mum tells the story of Jon, a middles aged man who loses his mother, the single most dominant person in his life. When his anchor is gone, he is compelled to honour her last wish, and takes on a journey to bring the body across Iceland to her home village for the final rest. As they travel on, Jon’s whole existence obtains a new meaning.
It is obvious that his mother always knows how things should be. Therefore it is only natural that when his mother dies, Jon fulfills all the instructions she has left for him upon her death. Jon combs and dresses his mother’s dead body, puts her to sit on the back seat of his old car, takes his loyal dog Bresnef along, and begins the drive to the other end of the country to where his mother has told him to bury her.
In this dark comedy, everything is quirky, in a dark brooding way. It is shot completely in B&W, adding to the moody atmosphere. It’s a long slow-moving methodical type feature that offers as much in the way of cinematography, as it does dialogue. Think Fellini. While Jon and his deceased mother leave the safe confines of their isolated environs, they run into a variety of individuals along the way, from hitchhikers and police, to what seems like a local circus act.
Jon is simple, and has no qualms about revealing that his mother is dead in the backseat, however most just shrug him off as a weirdo. Along the way, he continues to hear his mother’s bickering voice telling him what to do, where to turn, and questioning his decisions in life. Is it the ghost of his mother, or his inner conscience? His pet dog is his real companion throughout the drive. Upon arrival at the destination in which he will leave his mother to rest, there’s a dramatic ending to her send off. Long, yes, Quirky, yes. Worth the watch, yes.
Driving Mum, an Icelandic/Estonian co-production, is directed by Hilmar Oddsson and stars Þröstur Leó Gunnarsson (Noi the Albino), Kristbjörg Kjeld (Alma), Hera Hilmar(Mortal Engines, See) and Tómas Lemarquis (Blade Runner 2049).
The film will celebrate its World Premiere at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival on November 19, 2022, and is also one of the chosen ‘2022 Industry Selects’ at TIFF.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.