“WHO AM I SMILING FOR?”, a feature film in competition for the GexDoc section, is the audio-visual letter that Mari, a cancer patient, leaves to her daughter and little Oliver before she dies.
“WHO AM I SMILING FOR?”, a feature film in competition for the GexDoc section, is the audio-visual letter that Mari, a cancer patient, leaves to her daughter and little Oliver before she dies. She wants to leave a memento of their strong union, which transcends grief. For this reason, she contacts Estonian filmmaker Eeva Magi in autumn 2020 and shares her story with her. The cancer that is devouring her is now in its fourth stage. Mari does not give up and tries to make the most of what little time she has left. First of all, she teaches little Oliver ways to feel her constant presence even when she will be gone: how to fly around like a spirit, how to talk to her when she is an angel in the sky or how they will play football together even after her death. At the same time, Mari has to fight for the custody of her daughter, for a chance to see her before she dies. The film, therefore, deals with the sensitive topic of the love between a mother and her children: nothing can separate them, not even death.
There is also something autobiographical in this film project: the director lost her father when she was 11 years old and at the time of the painful separation, she believed that death was not the end of life. This attitude allowed her to understand and interpret Mari’s situation throughout the film’s development. “I want to convey the same beauty and delicacy of Mari’s dying wish to her children,” says the director, “no matter what, she will always be beside them. I believe there really is a reason to smile every day and let the spirit fly freely around with the living and the dead”.