ALT | International Shorts
Faced with many challenges in her daily life, a disgruntled cannery worker takes refuge in her relationship with her daughter and granddaughter. Matria is an unsentimental look at a day in the life of Ramona, a flawed everyday heroine, that uses a social-realist approach to give the film an authentic, if somewhat exaggerated, feel. It’s a nonstop, almost claustrophobic experience: the blunt forcefulness of Ramona’s personality gives her every action a purpose while the camera stays almost singularly focused on this stoic survivor. A Sundance Grand Prize-winner in January, this is an unrelenting portrait of a hard life so overloaded that Ramona can barely keep up. In a way this is, and has been, the fate of many working-class women throughout the world. The unending duties and worries of work and family life are wearing Ramona out, but she keeps going with what love there is and an almost obsessive sense of duty, even if there are very few sources of satisfaction left. A lovely, but fleeting moment Ramona shares with her daughter totally captures her circumstance—levity for a moment but dull monotony for a lifetime.