Amanda Abbington, Another Mother's Son, Brenock O'Connor, Game of Thrones, Holocaust, Jenny Seagrove, Julian Kostov, Louisa Gould, Monarch of the Glen, Mr Selfridge, Nazi, Ronan Keating, Sherlock, Susan Hampshire, WW2
Based on a true story set during WW2 in the Nazi-occupied Island of Jersey, Another Mother’s Son follows Louisa Gold (Jenny Seagrove), who after the death of one of her sons, takes in an escaped Russian Prisoner-of-War and hides him from the Germans residing in their town. Gradually Louisa integrates the prisoner – Bill (Julian Kostov) – into the town and he soon becomes a part of Louisa’s family. However as the war continues and it becomes clear that their Island won’t be recaptured by the British, the community spirit begins to fray under pressures of hunger, occupation and divided loyalty. Soon neighbours are sending anonymous messages to the Germans informing of illegal wirelesses and such like. One wrong word results in Louisa’s neighbour informing the authorities about Bill and the family must race to hide him and remove all traces of his presence in the house. Unfortunately they are found out and Louisa and her brother Harold (Ronan Keating – yes the Ronan Keating from Boyzone!) were arrested and sent to prisoner of war camps in Germany. At the end of the film we are informed as to what happened to them after the war ended, and sadly, Louisa was gassed to death in 1945 but Harold was one of only two British survivors to come out of Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp. On a brighter note, Bill managed to avoid capture and eventually made it back home. In 1995 a memorial plaque was unveiled in Jersey and Bill attended the unveiling where he met Louisa’s surviving son for the first time. In 2010 she was posthumously awarded a British Hero of the Holocaust.
The bravery Louisa showed through her actions during the war is inspiring and her reasoning was simply because: “I have to do something for another mother’s son”. The fact that I had never heard of Louisa before this depiction of her story is disappointing. Her story is definitely one that should be told in schools and hopefully the release of this film will put her actions into light. I had no idea that any part of the UK had been Nazi-occupied, and this should surely be something that children are taught in history lessons!
The cast is filled with big names, so it’s surprising that it hasn’t had much promotion. If I’m honest I only wanted to see the film because I knew Ronan Keating was in it and I’ve always had a soft spot for him. He’s not in it all that much, and it’s strange to here him speak without his lovely Irish accent, but actually he’s a decent actor. Alongside Ronan are the likes of Amanda Abbington (Mr Selfridge, Sherlock), Susan Hampshire (Monarch of the Glen) and Brenock O’Connor (young Olly in Game of Thrones), who again have fairly small parts but all play their roles perfectly.
Jenny Seagrove is great as Louisa, though she does come across as being quite stern and closed off – whether this is an accurate portrayal I don’t know – but her love for her sons and the gradual love towards Bill is clear to see. Her relationship with Bill is beautiful, the lengths she goes too to keep him safe is incredibly brave, but she also takes time to teach him English and make sure he is living a good, healthy life whilst with them. She understands how hard it is for him to be locked in the house for months so takes steps to give him freedom without the Germans finding out. Jenny and Julian Kostov work brilliantly together and Julian scrubs up very well once he’s had a bath and a shave! Julian perfectly portrays an escaped POW, he gives us moments of sheer terror as he faces close-calls with the Germans and we also see the affection and gratitude that he has towards Louisa and her family.
Overall, Another Mother’s Son is an emotionally gripping retelling of what is an incredible true story. I would definitely recommend everyone go see this film, it’s not a happy ending but I’m so glad to have learnt Louisa’s story. It’s another courageous tale that deserves to be told for years to come and frankly I’m shocked that we’re not already learning about it in school. The fact that one of our Islands was under Nazi-occupation is definitely something that we should be learning about. You will be gripped throughout the film and easily taken into Louisa’s life and family so when the final outcomes are revealed it’s all the more emotional. A definite must-see!