By :
François VERSTER
South Africa, 2005
76 min
A superb docu on being a daughter, grand-daughter and elder sister in an imperfect world. Township, drugs, violence, HIV, teenage love-pains… Be strong, Miche!
Described as astonishingly intimate, emotionally overwhelming and sometimes shocking, THE MOTHERS' HOUSE is a record of four years in the life of Miche, a charming, precocious yet troubled teenage girl growing into womanhood in post-Apartheid South Africa. 

Living with her mother and grandmother in Bonteheuwel, a "coloured" township outside Cape Town, she has to face not only life in a community troubled by gangsterism and drug abuse, but also what it means to break the unbearable cycle of emotional and physical violence imprisoning her own family. Miche's mother Valencia is an ex-Struggle activist, now an unemployed single mother, HIV positive and about to give birth to a third child. Deeply affected by the world she has grown up in and dominated by unresolved conflict with her own mother Amy, she increasingly shifts responsibility for her own problems onto Miche. 

Just entering high school, Miche is in many ways an ordinary innocent girl: she has her ears pierced for the first time, hosts her first dancing party, and finds her first boyfriend. Yet her home situation forces her to be strong beyond her years: she has to bear the responsibility not only for her mother's anger and general health, but also for the emotional well-being of her younger siblings. 

Torn between leaving home to escape abuse and protecting those she loves, she takes a wrong turn - before finally learning to make sense of her mother, grandmother and of the world she lives in... 

THE MOTHERS' HOUSE gives the viewer a powerful insight into three generations of women striving to untie the knots that bind and to find peace and love amongst all the hurt and anger within their community and themselves.