Mother – The Way Out

Family portrait/documentary about Czech actress Barbora and her vulnerable but brave way to maintain alternative way of taking care of the family.

This is a story about a mother and her complex role. A woman who is supportive as well as inspiring and who extends her care to anyone entering her life.

The documentary portrays the story of Bára, the Czech actress who left her career to follow David and become a mother. We are meeting with the family in the Canary Islands. Bára, David, their four children, grandad and au-pair Lili are setting up a community life in the rural finca La Suerte. We are introduced to Bára’s kids who are at a young age encouraged to form their individual personalities, and to various volunteers who are coming to the farmhouse to co-create the alternative life-style.

Bára is developing multiple projects such as the opening of an art gallery, discovering caves around the finca, and building the outdoor spinning bed, the idea that came from her dream. She is designing a safe and creative space for people with depression. 

The life under the sunshine looks idyllic. David, however, stays enigmatic and copes with existential questions. Soon it is revealed that those come from his problems with female emancipation and his mystic persona is drawn under the influence of magic mushrooms. We learn that he used to be a pastor of the Sacred Mushroom Church. Eventually, he forms a romantic relationship with Lili, they leave the finca together, kidnap the kids and keep them away from Bára for the whole summer.

Bára does not lose her strength, fights for her children and starts to understand that she lived under the control of a sceptical partner. She finds support in Bartek, a Polish volunteer, who is chased off the island by David but returns to reveal his feelings to Bara. They start a new life at the finca. Bára manages to keep the home for her children and gets legal custody. As spontaneously as David came into her life, as quickly he disappears from it. Bára starts organising her life in a different way. Maybe more humble and less effective but deeper in her doing. 

Coincidentally, in 2016, I started to film the story of Bára’s family in the Canary Islands. Initially, I intended to do a short video about alternative ways of living. After my first visit, I knew that I had to go back because there was much more to be uncovered than just somebody’s hippie life. I was amazed that the kids speak four languages despite the fact that they did not attend the traditional school system. Or, that their idols are not pop singers but polymath Da Vinci. I found it interesting to follow the story of Bára and David and their contrasting personalities – Yin and Yang. While David was envisioning the possibilities of living an independent life away from the grip of the system, Bára followed her man into the unknown and cared for their children. However, in the end, it was David who was only passively dreaming and Bára was the one who took actions. This made me think of the complex role of a mother, a woman who is a carer and initiator in one person.

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