Survival triumphs against all odds in the battered Balkan lands. It is an heirloom passed down from generation to generation along with richness of tradition, recipes, love and land.
At fourteen, Samira leaves her childhood home to create a new life with returned soldier Azis. She carries with her visions of romance and babies, but his dark secrets have consequences for everyone around him.
Samira’s love for life and her effervescent spirit are passed on to her mischievous sons and daughters, but the traumas of war return to drive their family apart. Her beloved son, Muhammed, flees home and his father at the tender age of twelve. Though it breaks Samira’s heart, she knows it is the only way for her son to survive.
Years pass, and after wandering from one Balkan region to another, Muhammed joins Anika and her family, who are escaping the oppression of Tito’s communist Jugoslavia across the Austrian border. The young couple look with hope far across the other side of the world, to Australia where they are promised a life filled with opportunity and success. They carry with them the pride of their culture, the traditions of their heritage, and a willingness to work hard and succeed in the golden land.
But happiness is elusive and another Balkan war and religious differences begin to create a rift in the family. Unable to shake the emotional and psychological shadows of their past, it is left to Anika and Muhammed’s daughter, Yasna, to try to repair their fragile domestic peace and break the cycle of anger and displacement. Will her hope and love for her family, the country of her cultural origins and its people save them all?
Not Like My Mother is a poignant story that tracks the spirit, the love and the pain of three generations of women and their families over two continents, as well as examining the divide between three religions that has torn a country and its people apart. A meditation on a country, its people, its politics and its colliding differences.