The Eyes of My Mother | Chicago Reader

The Eyes of My Mother

In this baffling horror fable—the first feature from writer-director Nicolas Pesce—a girl witnesses the murder of her beloved mother (Diana Agostini) by a vagrant and is mesmerized, rather than repelled, by the act. The protagonist (Olivia Bond as a child, Kika Magalhaes as an adult) is execrable, and also cliched: a sadistic sociopath with an angelic face. She remains in the isolated farmhouse she once shared with her deceased parents; when other adults intrude, she either kills them immediately or tortures them lovingly, removing their eyeballs and vocal cords as her mother, a Portuguese surgeon, showed her when operating on the farm's animals. The film benefits from Zach Kuperstein's moody black-and-white cinematography and the stark compositions, but the unrelenting ugliness and senselessness of the piece negate its occasional touches of minimalist beauty.

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