Filmmaker Mark Lipman’s father died suddenly when Lipman was just 17 years old, that pivotal time when children are starting to glimpse their parents as people. As Lipman remembers it, “I was just beginning to talk to him.” Years later, Lipman sits down with his relatives to discuss the father he knew so little about, seeking to understand the circumstances around his death and who he was as a man. Home movies, snapshots, and footage of outdoor scenes visually underscore Lipman’s own recollections and those of his family members. Sometimes they look at the images together, pointing out people, recounting particulars of the moment, and considering the nuances of facial expressions and intricate emotions at play. In their search for answers, these candid exchanges reveal facets of a complicated man and highlight the limits of truly knowing even those we’re closest to.
Sadie Tillery, 2004 Festival