Archive of films The Father Tapes / Vaterfilm
2015, 78 min
Section: Documentary Films - Competition
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. This harrowing documentary deliberately suppresses any estheticization of the hopeless situation, thereby placing us in the role of disinterested observers of their sorrowful parting.
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.
About the director
Albert Meisl (b. 1978, Munich, Germany) studied German literature and film science at universities in Munich and Berlin, acting at Salzburg’s Mozarteum, and directing and scriptwriting at the Film Academy of the University of Performing Arts in Vienna. He works as a journalist and scriptwriter, and as an assistant film director and dramatic advisor for the theater. In 2008 he was personal assistant to Götz Spielmann for the shooting of Revanche. Documentary filmography: the short ninety-eight (achtundneunzig, 2004) and the feature-length Final Station Ostkreuz (Endstation Ostkreuz, 2007). Dramatic works: one of nine segments in Pains of Youth (Krankheit der Jugend, 2007) and the short film Marzenka (2014).
About the film
|Section:||Documentary Films - Competition|
|Dir. of Photography:||Albert Meisl|
|Contact:||Austrian Film Commission|
Film Institution Rep.