Two women in labour, Janis and Ana, share a hospital room. Both are single and got pregnant by accident. Janis, a middle-aged photographer, doesn’t regret it, and is exultant. The other, adolescent Ana, is scared, repentant, and traumatized. Especially as she doubts that her mother, an ambitious actress, will stand by her in this life-changing event. Janis tries to encourage her while they move like sleepwalkers along the hospital corridors. The few words they exchange in these hours will create a close bond between the two: helping Ana to face an uncertain future, and Janis to come to terms with a troubled family past.
"Madres paralelas talks about ancestors and descendants, about the truth of the historical past and the most intimate truth of the characters. It talks about identity and maternal passion through three very different mothers. Along with Janis and Ana, there is Ana’s mother, selfish and without any maternal instinct. It’s the imperfections of these mothers, very different from those who have appeared in my filmography to date, that attract me most as a narrator." (Pedro Almodóvar)