David Gutnik, USA 2020, 105’
In a Silent Way My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To

Four women in the New York City subway. Four mysterious faces and four wandering glances. In the car, an unstable man is behaving more and more aggressively. It seems to be only a matter of time before there will be an explosion of violence. Before that happens, however, we go back over and over again to learn about the stories of the passengers. Materna is not, however, a film about destiny that intertwines the fates of strangers. It’s a film about the fact that every person is a separate microcosm composed of a constellation of problems. And also about the fact that people are very different, though with something in common as well. We return to the theme of family ties, that original kind of belonging that is often an entanglement. Each successive segment, although connected to the others in terms of plot and themes, could function as an independent whole—each part has the features of a good story, being simultaneously condensed and open, unfinished but complete.

Piotr Mirski


Tribeca FF 2020 – Best Actress, Best Cinematography

David Gutnik

David Gutnik comes from a family of Russian immigrants. He received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University. He has worked as an editor on a number of productions, including Christina Choe’s Nancy and Joshua Sanchez’s Four. Materna is his directorial debut. He lives in Brooklyn.


2012 Once Upon a Savage Night (short)

2013 Original Love (short)

2020 Materna

Cast & Crew

director David Gutnik
screenplay David Gutnik, Assol Abdullina, Jade Eshete
cinematography Chananun Chotrungroj, Kelly Jeffrey, Greta Zozula
editing Elizabeth Rao, Brúsi Ólason
music Andrew Orkin
cast Kate Lyn Sheil, Lindsay Burdge, Jade Eshete, Rory Culkin, Michael Chernus, Sturgill Simpson, Assol Abdullina
producer Liz Cardenas, Emily McEvoy, Katy Hallowell
production Ten to the Six Pictures
sales Ten to the Six Pictures
language English
coloration colour
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