78 min


The Father Tapes


Directing: Albert Meisl


When Albert Meisl began to suspect that his father was writing the final chapter of his life, he decided to visit his parents with a movie camera in tow. The film captures the ill man – bedridden and incessantly repeating the same phrases – in long static shots that evoke the physical experience of the man depicted. What is it like when your body becomes a prison and your mind is recast into a labyrinth in which every attempt to express even the simplest sentence proves futile? The unostentatious film form is in harmony with the simple scripting concept, resulting in a work that is all the more harrowing. The poignancy of permanent powerlessness creeps up on us without any way of resisting it. This unpolished documentary, which deliberately suppresses any estheticization of the man’s hopeless situation while also conveying his loved ones’ own arduous experience, places us in the role of disinterested observers of their sorrowful parting at the threshold of death.
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