Watch The Revolt of Mother
- 46 min
In 1988, the film adaptation of Mary E. Wilkins Freeman's short story "The Revolt of Mother" was released starring Amy Madigan, Jay O. Sanders, Katherine Hiler, and Benjamin Bernouy. Set in rural New England in the late 1800s, the film follows the story of Sarah Penn (Amy Madigan), a strong-willed and determined wife and mother who is fed up with her husband Adoniram's (Jay O. Sanders) empty promises of building a new home for their family. The Penns live in a cramped and dilapidated farmhouse that is unfit for their growing family, and Sarah has been waiting for 40 years for Adoniram to fulfill his promise of building a new house for them. Sarah finally decides to take matters into her own hands and start building the house herself without her husband's approval or knowledge.
Throughout the film, Sarah's defiance and determination clash with her husband's willful ignorance and dismissiveness of her desires. Adoniram is under the misconception that he knows what is best for his family, and he constantly belittles and disregards Sarah's opinions and feelings. He represents the traditional patriarchal figure, who believes that a man's role is to provide for his family, while his wife's role is to take care of the home and children without question or complaint. However, Sarah's actions challenge these traditional gender roles and showcase the power of a woman's agency and ability to provide for her family.
One of the film's most compelling themes is the complex and often fraught relationship between couples in a marriage, particularly the power dynamics that can arise. Sarah and Adoniram's relationship is one of tension and unfulfilled expectations, with Sarah feeling unheard and undeveloped. As a result, the film explores the role that communication plays in a healthy relationship, and how it can often reveal hidden desires and frustrations that go unaddressed for far too long.
Another major theme explored in the film is the woman's experience in a patriarchal society. Sarah is representative of countless women throughout history who have been denied agency and respect simply because of their gender. Her decision to build the house herself represents a breaking free from societal expectations and an embrace of independence and self-determination. This cleverly subversive film portrays the way in which women's contributions are often downplayed and rendered invisible in the face of male-centered societal norms.
The film also explores the theme of the power of community, through Sarah's relationships with her daughter Nanny (Katherine Hiler), her son Sammy (Benjamin Bernouy), and the locals in her town. Sarah's decision to build the house herself mobilizes the community, who rallies around her in support and solidarity. Through this, the importance of communal bonds and support are exemplified, showcasing how a community can uplift and support an individual and their struggle for a better life.
Overall, The Revolt of Mother is a stunning film that showcases the complexity of human relationships and the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity. It is a story of empowerment and determination that resonates even today, and a powerful reminder of the importance of fighting for what you believe in.
The Revolt of Mother is a 2006 science fiction movie with a runtime of 46 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4.