FROM THE BACK OF THE BOX:
A filmmaker and his siblings research the experiences of their late father, who survived the Holocaust during World War II.
FROM THE BACK OF MY BRAIN:
David Fisher really wants you to feel for his father. However, his family keeps getting in the way of this insightful look at the Holocaust. David Fisher spends a substantial amount of time using documents and beginning the road to piecing together what happened. The Fishers fight and give David grief the entire time until he finally talks them into joining. If my parents had been brutally tortured and nearly killed, I would love to find out what happened. The distancing between the events and the presents almost makes David’s siblings seem like monsters.
When the film moves into interviewing US Soldiers that liberate Joseph Fisher’s camp, the film finds its footing. David knows what he wants to do, but he can’t ever find the balance to produce an incredible documentary. When David researches the past and actually pieces together a history of his father, the film moves to the next level. Why did he bother with his family? None of them had anything to do here other than obligation. It was pretty trite for such serious fare.
The documentary was almost hard to watch, as the Fishers are so casual about the atrocities that happened to their father and family. Since David chooses to be observational, we can’t say that he was passing judgment on anything that took place. But, it’s hard to be a living document when the material is about your family. I would say it feels petty to argue about how one presents their family on film, but we live in a post “Capturing the Friedmans” world. I do believe that David Fisher should eventually get a second crack at the same material. However, it didn’t come together for me on this first outing.
RELEASE DATE: 01/27/2014