Mom (Xun Sero) Mexico

Xun Sero
Mexico. 2022. 80 min

As a Mexican Tzotzil I grew up between the sacrality both of Guadalupe Virgin and Mother Earth. As a son, I grew up among the derision of not having a father and blaming my mother for it. ‘Mom’ is a dialogue between mother and son exploring their contradictions, knowing and recognizing each other, and reflecting on naturalized violence and its reproduction.


Xun Sero was born in 1988 in Chiapas, Mexico. He built his experience in the workshops of Ambulante Más Allá and in the Escuela de Cine Documental de San Cristóbal de las Casas. He currently works as cinematographer in documentary films: his most recent works are Negra by Medhin Tewolde and Kuxlejal/Vida by Elke Franke. Most of his stories are about the essence of indigenous people. He tries to develop the real cultural heritage of the characters and avoid clichés about indigenous person.


”Don’t air your dirty laundry in public” is a saying that is often heard when there are ”family problems”. Even though these problems should be resolved by talking them through and communicating what each person feels or thinks, there is a reality marked by violence that nobody talks about, that is not spoken of. Addressing the violence that is lived and which causes shame is the intention of this film. In doing so, it seeks to detonate a social conversation. Our behaviours are learned in society. They are not born of their own accord. Exercising violence, denying violence, believing that the person who lives in a situation of violence deserves it; we have learned all of this in society. Society itself feeds these ideas.

I had to understand this first in order to forgive myself. Because, after I became aware of what I am, what Xun represents and does as a man, it was very hard. I realized that the first feminine body against which I exercised violence was my mother’s. I still have many practices, thoughts and behaviours that are very violent.

And each time I notice this or it is brought to my attention, it is even more difficult than the first time that I saw and understood it. It is more difficult, because you feel like you are going backwards, that it doesn’t matter how much you learn, it seems that you can’t escape what you are. But I have also learned that I should start by destroying figures and recognizing people. Who are you mom? This is the question that guided me in the making of this film. Therefore, throughout the film, we strip off the layers that construct what we suppose is a mother, and we get to know the person behind this figure — her dreams, her pain, her laughter, her life. Who is behind this figure that we call mother, father, daughter, son? Who dwells there?