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Review: 'Motherland'

Documentary follows six American mothers who find solace for their own sorrow in losing a child by helping AIDS orphans in South Africa.

Director Jennifer Steinman located six grieving American mothers who have lost a son or daughter and brought them to South Africa on a healing mission. "Motherland" documents what these women went through as they sort out their sorrows while volunteering at centers for orphaned children in a country plagued by AIDS. Steinman's high concept is unwieldy and overly ambitious and occasionally skirts reality TV territory – one of the women even jokes about being voted off the island – but the shots of the children beaming in the company of these mothers are glorious. (The film is available both theatrically and via the new Gigantic Digital streaming service – www.giganticdigital.com.) Grade: B