Tag Archives: featured works

Film About a Father Who

Critic’s Pick! “[A] brisk, prismatic and richly psychodramatic family portrait.” 

– Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times

Film About a Father Who
74 min. 2020
Directed by Lynne Sachs

Feb. 17: one week link to film

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/358398460 
Password:  FAAFW2021


*World Premiere:  Slamdance Film Festival 2020
Opening Night Film

Park City, Utah

Documentary Fortnight:
The Museum of Modern Art’s Festival of Non-Fiction Film
New York City

International Premiere:
Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival

United Kingdom

Indie Memphis Opening Night Film 2020, Oxford, Sarasota, Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire Montréal (RIDM), DocAviv 2020, Israel; Gimli Film Festival, Canada; American Fringe Festival, Paris; Bend Film Festival, Oregon; DocLisboa, Portugal; San Francisco Jewish Film Festival; DocPoint Tallin, Estonia, 2021; Festival de Cine International Costa Rica, 2021; 57a Mostra Internazionale del Nuovo Cinema / Pesaro Film Festival 2021; Vox Feminae Festival, Zagreb, Croatia, 2021; Dead Center Film Festival 2021, Oklahoma; Athens Film and Video Festival 2021, Mimesis Documentary Festival, Boulder, Colorado, Opening Night 2021; Buffalo International Film Festival, 2021; Cine Documental Contemporáneo Realizado con Arhiva Doméstico, Bilbao Arte 2021, Spain; Centre Film Festival, Pennsylvania; A4 – Space for Contemporary Culture, Bratislava, Slovakia, 2021; Cinémathèque Français, Paris 2021; Festival International de Cine Contemporáno Camara Lucida 2021; Cork International Film Festival, Ireland Artist Focus presented by Artist and Experimental Moving Image; Metrograph Theater, New York City 2021.

“Film About A Father Who” was Featured on 9 Best Films of 2021 Lists:
Roger Ebert: Selected by Simon Abrams & Matt Zoller Seitz
The Film Stage: Best Documentaries of 2021
Film Comment: Selected by Ela Bittencourt, Mackenzie Lukenbill, and Chris Shields
Screen Slate: Selected by Anthony Banua-Simon, Nellie Killian, and Chris Shields

Criterion Channel streaming premiere with 7 other films, Oct. 2021.

Documentary Feature Award, Athens Film and Video Festival, Oct. 2021.

Best Feature Documentary Audience Award, Mimesis Documentary Festival, Jan. 2022

Selected Virtual Theaters:
Laemmle Theaters, Los Angeles; Roxie Theatre, Los Angeles; Philadelphia Film Society; The Belcourt, Nashville; Utah Film Center, Salt Lake City; Cleveland Cinematheque; Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA; Northwest Film Forum, Seattle; Facets, Chicago; Cine-File, Chicago; Austin Film Society; The Cinematheque, Vancouver, BC; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Maysles Cinema, NYC.

Download Press Kit PDF here:
Film About a Father Who Press kit 2020

Film About a Father Who website:  www.filmaboutafatherwho.com


Over a period of 35 years between 1984 and 2019, filmmaker Lynne Sachs shot 8 and 16mm film, videotape and digital images of her father, Ira Sachs Sr., a bon vivant and pioneering businessman from Park City, Utah. FILM ABOUT A FATHER WHO is her attempt to understand the web that connects a child to her parent and a sister to her siblings. With a nod to the Cubist renderings of a face, Sachs’ cinematic exploration of her father offers simultaneous, sometimes contradictory, views of one seemingly unknowable man who is publicly the uninhibited center of the frame yet privately ensconced in secrets. In the process, Sachs allows herself and her audience inside to see beyond the surface of the skin, the projected reality. As the startling facts mount, Sachs as a daughter discovers more about her father than she had ever hoped to reveal.

“FILM ABOUT A FATHER WHO is a personal meditation on our dad, specifically, and fatherhood and masculinity more generally. The film is one of Lynne’s most searingly honest works. Very proud of my sister, as I have been since we were kids, and so deeply inspired.” –  Filmmaker & brother, Ira Sachs, Jr.

Press Quotes

Sachs achieves a poetic resignation about unknowability inside families, and the hidden roots never explained from looking at a family tree.

—Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

“Explores the complexities of a disparate family and a nexus of problems revolving around a wayward, unconventional, elusive patriarch…formidable in its candour and ambition.”

—Jonathan Romney, Screen International

“In Film About a Father Who … Sachs never seems to intimate that her perspective is universal but, rather, that having a perspective is.” 

—Kat Sachs, MUBI Notebook

“Sachs goes to places that most … moviemakers avoid, undercutting the image of the past as simpler or more stable than the present.”

-—Pat Brown, Slant Magazine 

“(Sachs’) own practice can be understood as a process of grammatical excellence; each thought, memory, scene, time and space given pause and punctuated by still more dancing light.” In Film About a Father Who, (she) admits that she is filming as a way of finding transparency. It is the ultimate in searching for cinematic veracity. She finds something beautiful and deeply moving, here…. Film About a Father Who is her greatest achievement yet.”

—Tara Judah, Ubiquarian

“This divine masterwork of vulnerability weaves past and present together with ease, daring the audience to choose love over hate, forgiveness over resentment. Sachs lovingly untangles the messy hair of her elusive father, just as she separates and tends to each strand of his life. A remarkable character study made by a filmmaker at the top of her game– an absolute must see in Park City.”

Michael Gallagher, Slamdance Programmer

“Here we have a family.  And most families have fall-outs.  And the ruptured and the intense one in Lynne’s film—amazing documentary—reveals how far blood lines can stretch without losing connection altogether.  Though this is an extremely personal film, and asks us several times to really choose between love and hate, she’s really exploring a universal theme that we all think about from time to time, which is the extent to which one human being can really know another.  And in this case, it’s her dad.

—Peter Baxter, President and co-founder of Slamdance speaking on KPCW Radio, Park City, Utah

“The film is bookended with footage of Lynne Sachs attempting to cut her aging father’s sandy hair, which — complemented by his signature walrus mustache — is as long and hippie-ish as it was during the man’s still locally infamous party-hearty heyday, when Ira Sachs Sr. restored, renovated and lived in the historic Adams Avenue property that is now home to the Mollie Fontaine Lounge. ‘There’s just one part that’s very tangly,’ Lynne comments, as the simple grooming activity becomes a metaphor for the daughter’s attempt to negotiate the thicket of her father’s romantic entanglements, the branches of her extended family tree and the thorny concepts of personal and social responsibility.”

—John Beiffus, Memphis Commercial Appeal

“’Film About a Father Who,’ whose title was inspired by Yvonne Rainer’s ‘Film About a Woman Who…,’ is a consideration of how one man’s easygoing attitude yielded anything but an easy family dynamic as it rippled across generations. The movie runs only 74 minutes, but it contains lifetimes.

—Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times



Poster for “Film About a Father Who”

Film About a Father Who on 9 Best Films of 2021 Lists


The Film Stage

Film Comment

Screen Slate Best Movies of 2021: First Viewings & Discoveries and Individual Ballots


Rotten Tomatoes: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/film_about_a_father_who

IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11600484/?ref_=ttexrv_exrv_tt


Featuring Ira Sachs Sr. with Lynne Sachs, Dana Sachs, Ira Sachs, Beth Evans, Evan Sachs, Adam Sachs, Annabelle Sachs, Julia Buchwald, and Madison Geist

Editor – Rebecca Shapass
Music –  Stephen Vitiello

Produced with the support of: New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowship, 2018 and Yaddo Artist Residency, 2019

Same Stream Twice

“Same Stream Twice”
by Lynne Sachs with Maya Street-Sachs
4 min. 16mm b & w and color on DVD, 2012

Director’s Choice Award – Black Maria Film Festival 2013

My daughter’s name is Maya. I’ve been told that the word maya means illusion in Hindu philosophy. In 2001, I photographed her at six years old, spinning like a top around me. Even then, I realized that her childhood was not something I could grasp but rather – like the wind – something I could feel tenderly brushing across my cheek.  Eleven years later, I pull out my 16mm Bolex camera once again and she allows me to film her – different but somehow the same.

Screenings: Black Maria Film Festival, 2013; Camára Lucída Festival de Ciné 2021; Museum of the Moving Image 2021

For inquiries about rentals or purchases please contact Canyon Cinema or the Film-makers’ Cooperative. And for international bookings, please contact Kino Rebelde

Maya at 17_3 edit

Maya at 5

Your Day is My Night

Trailer for “Your Day is My Night” by Lynne Sachs

This film is currently only available with a password. Please write to info@lynnesachs.com to request access.

Dir. Lynne Sachs
64  min., HD, Color, Stereo & 5.1 Surround, 2013
Chinese, English & Spanish with English Subtitles

This complete film is currently only available with a password. Please write to info@lynnesachs.com to request access. Currently streaming on MUBI at: https://mubi.com/films/your-day-is-my-night

Go to Your Day is My Night website here

Purchase DVD for an institution here  Cinema Guild

While living in a “shift-bed” apartment in the heart of New York City’s Chinatown, a household of immigrants share their stories of personal and political upheaval.


Since the early days of New York’s Lower East Side tenement houses, working class people have shared beds, making such spaces a fundamental part of immigrant life. Initially documented in Jacob Riis’ now controversial late 19th Century photography, a “shift-bed” is an actual bed that is shared by people who are neither in the same family nor in a relationship. Simply put, it’s an economic necessity brought on by the challenges of urban existence. Such a bed can become a remarkable catalyst for storytelling as absolute strangers become de facto confidants.

In this provocative, hybrid documentary, the audience joins a present-day household of immigrants living together in a shift-bed apartment in the heart of Chinatown. Seven characters (ages 58-78) play themselves through autobiographical monologues, verité conversations, and theatrical movement pieces. Retired seamstresses Ellen Ho and Sheut Hing Lee recount growing up in China during the turmoil of the 1950s when their families faced violence and separation under Chairman Mao’s revolutionary, yet authoritarian regime.  Yun Xiu Huang, a nightclub owner from Fujian Province, reveals his journey to the United States through the complicated economy of the “snakehead” system, facing an uphill battle as he starts over in a new city.

With each “performance” of their present, the characters illuminate both the joys and tragedies of their past.  As the bed transforms into a stage, the film reveals the collective history of Chinese immigrants in the United States, a story not often documented.  Further, the intimate cinematography and immersive sound design carry us into the dreams and memories of the performers, bringing the audience into a community often considered closed off to non-Chinese speakers.  Through it all, “Your Day is My Night” addresses issues of privacy, intimacy, and urban life in relationship to this familiar item of household furniture.


“Each person’s tale is brief but impactful, intercut with graceful set pieces and grainy footage that allows time to visualize, absorb and contemplate. Your Day is My Night is a cultural window with many dimensions, building empathy with viewers in this politically charged environment.” – Fatima Sheriff, One Room with a View

“A strikingly handsome, meditative work: a mixture of reportage, dreams, memories and playacting, which immerses you in an entire world that you might unknowingly pass on the corner of Hester Street, unable to guess what’s behind the fifth-floor windows.” –The Nation

“Beautifully blending anecdotes, evocative audio textures, and an ensemble of elderly immigrant performers/participants, Your Day is My Night is sumptuous and exploratory, bringing us a Chinatown we have never seen before in film.” – San Diego Asian Film Festival

“Using beds as a metaphor for privacy, intimacy and power, the film explores intercultural and trans-historical dialogue.” – The Washington Post

“Director Lynne Sachs’ Your Day is My Night shines a light on a little documented sub-culture in New York’s Chinatown, chronicling immigrants who live communally in buildings where there’s a shift-bed system. One person returns from a stint of overnight work to sleep in a bed just vacated by another person off to their day job. The form of this documentary is as compelling as its content. It is a beautiful collage of different media and music intricately edited together with the often emotional testimony of the immigrants.” – BBC

“New York’s Chinatown, a place as much spectral as real, flickers and flares into life in this singular hybrid of documentary, performance piece and cine-monologue. Seven working-class, immigrant residents of a shift-bed apartment play versions of themselves, recalling violent upheavals, long journeys and endless yearnings.” – Sight and Sound

“This is no ordinary documentary. This is film, a canvas, a moving poem. It never stands still. It moves and it moves us.” – Kennebec Journal/ Morning Star (centralmaine.com)

Director’s Statement:

“I’ve spent most of my life as an artist thinking about how to convey my observations of the world around me in the visual and aural language of film. I experiment with my perception of reality by embracing an associative, non-literal approach to images, and it is through this artistic exploration that I grapple with the natural, social, cultural and political phenomena that I witness through the lens of my camera. I began the Your Day is My Night project in late 2009 when I was talking with a relative on his 90th birthday.  A Brooklyn resident for his entire life, Uncle Bob has haunting memories of December 16, 1960 when a jet crashed near his Brooklyn home. Trying to imagine the devastation in this busy neighborhood, I asked him how many people on the ground had died.  ‘It was hard to know because there were so many hot bed houses in that area.  They all burned and no one knew precisely who lived there.’  What are hot bed houses? I asked him.  ‘Those are homes for poor people who work and can’t afford to rent their own apartments.  They share beds in shifts.’ I reconstructed the moment of the crash, creating a mental image of the inhabitants of these apartments as they tried to gather their few personal possessions and escape the fire. Which unlucky person would awake from a deep sleep after a long shift at the port to the sound of the crash and the heat of the fire?    After that conversation, I discovered that 19th Century photographer Jacob Riis documented numerous examples of these beds, and it is through his lens that I was able to begin my research.   In Riis’ How the Other Half Lives, he exposed to the rest of America the poor, immigrant experience he witnessed in downtown New York City.  I later read The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream by Patrick Radden Keefe to give me a more current sense of the situation in current day Chinatown.

I think of the bed as an extension of the earth.  For most of us, we sleep on the same mattress every night; our beds take on the shape of our bodies, like a fossil where we leave our mark for posterity. During the Revolutionary War, George Washington slept in many borrowed beds and now, hundreds of years later, his brief presence is celebrated from one New England town to the next: ‘George Washington Slept Here’ has a kind of strange signification and prestige. But for transients, people who use hotels, and the homeless a bed is no more than a borrowed place to sleep. An animal that borrows its home from another species is called an inquiline, and in Spanish inquilina is the word for a renter.  Conceptual artist and sculptor Félix González-Torres photographed a series of empty, unmade beds to commemorate the life and death of his partner, as if the very sheets that remained could remind him and us of the body and the man he had loved.

Since January of 2011, I have been writing, researching, and shooting material for my ‘bed project’ in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York City. I found a group of non-professional Chinese performer/participants (ages 58 – 78) and have worked almost weekly with them ever since. During our workshops, they each exchanged their own stories around domestic life, immigration and personal-political upheaval.  None of these people has ever worked in this cross-cultural way, so it is these taped process-oriented conversations that, in the final film, enhance our audience’s sense of the bed – experienced and imagined from profoundly different viewpoints. Next, a written script emerged from our months of shooting documentary images and interviews. Using the interactive model of Augusto Boal’s “Theatre of the Oppressed”, I guided my collective in a “simultaneous dramaturgy”. My performers, crew and, more recently, our live audience, explored the potential for transformation that can come from a dialogue around personal histories and the imagination.

The material I collected during these interviews is the basis for the monologues in Your Day is My Night. In production, I guided my performers through visual scenarios that reveal a bed as a stage on which people manifest who they are at home and who they are in the world. Our shooting took place in two different actual shift-bed apartments located in NYC’s Chinatown. The Chinese participants (several of whom currently live or have actually slept on shift-beds) spoke of family ruptures during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, a mattress excavated from a garbage heap, four men on one bed in Chinatown, amongst a long series of fascinating and haunting bed-related topics.

For inquiries about rentals or purchases please contact the Cinema Guild. For international bookings, please contact Kino Rebelde

“Your Day is My Night” has been exhibited as a live performance at St. Nicks Alliance in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York Public Library in Chinatown, Proteus Gowanus Interdisciplinary Arts Gallery in Brooklyn and University Settlement in Manhattan.” – LS

Cast: Che Chang-Qing, Yi Chun Cao, Yueh Hwa Chan  (Linda), Kam Yin Tsui, Yun Xiu Huang, Ellen Ho, Sheut Hing Lee, Veraalba Santa Torres,

Crew: Lynne Sachs (director); Sean Hanley (camera, co-produing and editing); Rojo Robles (co-writer); Catherine Ng and Jenifer Lee (translations); Ethan Mass (camera); Stephen Vitiello (music); Damian Volpe (sound mix) Amanda Katz and Jeff Sisson (sound); Bryan Chang (additional editing and translations); Madeline Youngberg (production assistance)

Kam Yin Tsui  in Your Day is My Night
Kam Yin Tsui in Your Day is My Night
Your Day is My Night Cast and Crew
Your Day is My Night Cast and Crew
Yun Xiu Huang , Veraalba Santa and Sheut Hing Lee
Yun Xiu Huang , Veraalba Santa and Sheut Hing Lee
Kam Yin Tsui and Yun Xiu Huang sing Happy Birthday
Kam Yin Tsui and Yun Xiu Huang sing Happy Birthday

Link to Youtube video of cast Q & A Asian Pacific Institute at NYU:

“I think of the bed as an extension of the earth,” says experimental documentary filmmaker Lynne Sachs. In YOUR DAY IS MY NIGHT, a moving hybrid documentary/performance piece, the bed becomes stage as immigrant residents of a shift-bed apartment in the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown are both performers and participants, storytellers and actors. Sharing their experiences as migrants and city dwellers, they reveal the intimacies and complexities of urban living. Filmmaker Lynne Sachs and performers Yi Chun Cao, Linda Y.H. Chan, Chung Qing Che, Ellen Ho, Yun Xiu Huang, and Sheut Hing Lee joined A/P/A Institute at NYU on Thursday, October 2, 2013 for a screening of the film and a conversation moderated by Karen Shimakawa (Chair of Performance Studies at NYU, Tisch School of the Arts). Lesley (Yiping) Qin served as translator.

Selected Screenings:

World Premiere:  Museum of Modern Art, Documentary Fortnight 2013 (Feb. 24 & 25, 2013)
Senior Planet Exploration Center New York City (April 12, 2013)
Ann Arbor Film Festival (March 23, 2013)
Athens Film Festival, Athens, Ohio Opening Night  April 18, 2013)
Workers Unite Film Festival, Cinema Village Theater, New York City (May 10, 2013)
Brecht Forum, New York City  (May 17, 2013)
Union Docs. Brooklyn, New York City (June 8, 2013)
Images Film and Video Festival, Toronto  (April 19, 2013)
Kingsborough College, Brooklyn, New York (May 6, 2013)
Maysles Cinema, Fiction-Non Series, NYC, (Sept. 25 & 26, 2013)
BorDocs Tijuana Forum Documental, Mexico, Sept., 2013
University of California, Santa Cruz, Nov. 18 and 19, 2013
Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, California, Nov. 20, 2013.
Vancouver Film Festival, 2013
Micheal Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival, Michigan, Best Experimental Film, 2013
New Orleans Film Festival, 2013
San Diego Asian American Film Festival,  Best Feature Documentary2013.
Center for History, Media & Culture/ Asian Studies, New York University, 2013
Roy & Edna Disney/ CalArtst Theatre (REDCAT), Los Angeles, 2014.

Sound of a Shadow

“Sound of a Shadow”

10 min.,  Super 8 , color, sound 2011
by Mark Street and Lynne Sachs

wabi sabi summer in Japan – observing that which is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete– produces a series of visual haiku in search of teeming street life, bodies in emotion, and leaf prints in the mud.

Black Maria Film Festival, Director’s Choice, 3rd Prize. 2011

For inquiries about rentals or purchases please contact Canyon Cinema or the Film-makers’ Cooperative. And for international bookings, please contact Kino Rebelde


The Task of the Translator

Latin student hand at window

The Task of the Translator (10 min., 2010)

Sachs pays homage to Walter Benjamin’s essay “The Task of the Translator” through three studies of the human body. First, she listens to the musings of a wartime doctor grappling with the task of  a kind-of cosmetic surgery for corpses.  Second, she witnesses  a group of Classics scholars confronted  with the  haunting yet whimsical task of translating a newspaper article on Iraqi burial rituals into Latin. And finally, she turns to a radio news report on human remains.

“In The Task of the Translator, Lynne Sachs turns her original, probing eye to the ways in which we struggle to put words to the horrifying realities of War.  In her subtle, trademark shifting between the intimate, personal space of a few individuals and the cavernous, echoing ambiguity of larger, moral questions, Sachs stakes out unsettling territory concerning what it means–what it feels like–to be made into unwitting voyeurs of Mankind’s most grotesque doings.   At the same time we find she is also talking, with startling deftness, about the way that all artists are, in the end, engaged in the task of the translator: stuck with the impossible task of rendering imponderables, unutterables, and unsayables, into neat representations to be consumed, digested, perhaps discarded.  We are not, however, left despairing; a pair of hands, caught again and again in the beautiful motion of gesticulation, is far from helpless or mute.  This image captures, rather, the supreme eloquence of the effort to translate, and the poignant hope represented by this pungent, memorable film itself.”      — Shira Nayman,   author of the novels The Listener and Awake in the Dark,

For inquiries about rentals or purchases please contact Canyon Cinema or the Film-makers’ Cooperative. And for international bookings, please contact Kino Rebelde

Wind in Our Hair



Wind in Our Hair
40 min., 2010,  by Lynne Sachs

Inspired by the stories of Argentine writer Julio Cortázar, yet blended with the realities of contemporary Argentina, “Wind in Our Hair” is an experimental narrative directed by New York filmmaker Lynne Sachs about four girls discovering themselves through a fascination with the trains that pass by their house. A story of early-teen anticipation and disappointment, “Wind in Our Hair” is circumscribed by a period of profound Argentine political and social unrest. Shot with 16mm, Super 8mm, Regular 8mm film and video, the film follows the girls to the train tracks, into kitchens, on sidewalks, in costume stores, and into backyards in the heart of Buenos Aires as well as the outskirts of town. Sachs and her Argentine collaborators move about Buenos Aires  with their cameras, witnessing the four playful girls as they wander a city embroiled in a debate about the role of agribusiness, food resources and taxes. Using an intricately constructed Spanish-English “bilingual” soundtrack,  Sachs and her co-editor, Puerto Rican filmmaker Sofia Gallisa, articulate this atmosphere of urban turmoil spinning about the young girls’ lives.   “Wind in Our Hair” also includes the daring, ethereal music of Argentine singer Juana Molina.


“Inspired by the short stories of Julio Cortázar, Lynne Sachs creates an experimental narrative about a group of girls on the verge of adolescence. While their lives are blissful and full of play, the political and social unrest of contemporary Argentina begins to invade their idyllic existence. Sachs’ brilliant mixture of film formats complements the shifts in mood from innocent amusement to protest. ”  Dean Otto, Film and Video Curator, Walker Art Center

“Inspired by the writings of Julio Cortázar, whose work not only influenced a generation of Latin American writers but film directors such as Antonioni and Godard, Lynne Sachs’ Wind in Our Hair/Con viento en el pelo is an experimental narrative that explores the interior and exterior worlds of four early-teens, and how through play they come to discover themselves and their world. “Freedom takes us by the hand–it seizes the whole of our bodies,” a young narrator describes as they head towards the tracks. This is their kingdom, a place where–dawning fanciful masks, feather boas, and colorful scarves — the girls pose as statues and perform for each other and for passengers speeding by. Collaborating with Argentine filmmakers Leandro Listorti, Pablo Marin and Tomas Dotta, Sachs offers us a series of magical realist vignettes (rock/piedra, paper/papel, scissors/tijera), their cameras constantly shifting over their often-frenzied bodies. A collage of small gage formats and video, the 42-min lyric is enhanced further by its sonic textures that foreground the whispers and joyful screams of the young girls with the rhythms of a city and a reoccurring chorus of farmers and student protesters. Filmed on location in Buenos Aries during a period of social turmoil and strikes, Sachs and co-editor Sofia Gallisá have constructed a bilingual work that places equal value on the intimacy of the girls’ lives and their growing awareness of those social forces encroaching on their kingdom. “       – Carolyn Tennant, Media Arts Director, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo, New York

“Argentine author Julio Cortazar is the inspiration for WIND IN OUR HAIR (2009, 42 min.), which loosely interprets stories in the collection “Final de Juego” against the backdrop of social and political unrest in contemporary Argentina. In her first attempt at narrative filmmaking, Sachs still retains her associative, playful structure and documentary eye. Four young women, again played by Sach’s daughters and family friends, grow restless at home and begin to make their way through Buenos Aires in search of excitement and eventually to a fateful meeting at the train tracks near their home. The film moves from childhood’s earthbound, cloistered spaces and into the skittering beyond of adolescence, exploding with anticipation and possibility. Argentine musician Juana Molina lends her ethereal sound to compliment the wild mix of formats and styles.”  – Todd Lillethun, Artistic Director, Chicago Filmmakers

“I completely felt Cortazar’s stories throughout. The fluidity in which a ludic and serious tone mix and the combined sense of lightness and deepness capture the author’s vision.” – Monika Wagenberg, Cinema Tropical

Selected Screenings:

Palais de Glace, Buenos Aires
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
La Habana Festival de Cinema Latinamericano, 2010

Anthology Film Archive, New York

See Spanish version here:   http://www.lynnesachs.com/2011/01/04/con-viento-en-el-pelo-de-lynne-sachs/

For inquiries about rentals or purchases please contact Canyon Cinema or the Film-makers’ Cooperative. And for international bookings, please contact Kino Rebelde

The Last Happy Day

The Last Happy Day
37 min. 2009 by Lynne Sachs

a portrait of a doctor who saw the worst of society and ran

The Last Happy Day is an experimental documentary portrait of Sandor (Alexander) Lenard, a Hungarian medical doctor and a distant cousin of filmmaker Lynne Sachs.  In 1938 Lenard, a writer with a Jewish background, fled the Nazis to a safe haven in Rome. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service hired Lenard to reconstruct the bones — small and large — of dead American soldiers.  Eventually he found himself in remotest Brazil where he embarked on  the translation of “Winnie the Pooh” into Latin, an eccentric task that catapulted him to brief world-wide fame.  Sachs’ essay film uses personal letters, abstracted war imagery, home movies, interviews, and a children’s performance to create an intimate meditation on the destructive power of war.

“A fascinating, unconventional approach to a Holocaust-related story … a frequently charming work that makes no effort to disguise an underlying melancholy.”  George Robinson, The Jewish Week

“Exquisite…Sachs reclaims (Lenard’s) dignity and purpose using letters, newsreel footage, and recreations of his environment as if to channel him back from the past.”                         Todd Lillethun – Program Director, Chicago Filmmakers

For password to Vimeo link, please write to info@lynnesachs.com.

Premiere: New York Film Festival, 2009

Broadcast:  Hungarian Public Television, Spring 2010.

Website on Alexander Lenard:   http://mek.oszk.hu/kiallitas/lenard/indexeng.html

Selected Screenings and Honors: Indiewire.Com: Nominated One of the Best “Undistributed Films” of 2009 (Phillip Lopate); Director’s Choice Award, Black Maria Film Festival 2010; San Francisco Cinematheque;  Pacific Film Archive;  Punto de Vista Documentary Film Festival, Spain;  University of Chicago; Chicago Filmmakers;  Closing Night Film Singapore Film Festival; International House University of Pennsylvania; Museum of the Moving Image, NYC, 2021.

Criterion Channel streaming premiere with 7 other films, Oct. 2021.

For inquiries about rentals or purchases please contact Canyon Cinema,  Film-makers’ Cooperative, or Icarus Films. And for international bookings, please contact Kino Rebelde


Last Happy Day still of childupsidedown copy



Co-directed by Lynne Sachs and Susan Agliata with the support of the New York Public Library

Abecedarium:NYC is an interactive online exhibition that reflects on the history, geography, and culture – both above and below ground – of New York City through 26 unusual words. Using original video, animation, photography and sound, Abecedarium:NYC constructs visual relationships between these select words and specific locations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.

Each word – whether it’s A for audile or Z for zenana – leads to a different short video and a location in the city that you may never have experienced before. In selenography (the study of the moon), amateur astronomers celebrate the wonders of the night sky at Staten Island’s Great Kills State Park. In open city (a metropolis without defense), the ruins of military installations throughout the five boroughs decay with time. Chatty teenagers in a Flushing, Queens cafe drink bubble tea in xenogenesis (the phenomenon of children markedly different from their parents). In diglot (a bilingual person), a Chinese accountant, Albanian baker, Palestinian falafel maker, Argentine film archivist and Cuban cigar maker speak candidly about their daily routines. In mofette (an opening in the earth from which carbon monoxide escapes) mysterious gases flow from gaps in the streets of Manhattan.

The experience of visiting Abecedarium:NYC is more than watching, listening and learning. Visitors to the project are invited to respond to existing content as well as to share their own experience of New York City by contributing original videos, soundscapes, photos or texts to the project Abecedarium:NYC Blog. As more users contribute, the project grows in size, scope and experience, and transforms into a destination for sharing and learning about every facet of the city.

See some of the Abecedarium:NYC word videos I’ve made at:

FOUDROYANT “Coney Island of the Mind”


NOSOGEOGRAPHY:   Gowanus Canal on Earth Day

SELENOGRAPHY “Moon Watching in the Big Apple”

UMBEL “Umbels in Brooklyn”

YASHMAK “The Veil in New York City”

States of UnBelonging

States of UnBelonging
63 min. 2005

The core of this haunting meditation on war, land, the Bible, and filmmaking is a portrait of Revital Ohayon, an Israeli filmmaker and mother killed near the West Bank. Director Lynne Sachs creates a film on the violence of the Middle East by exchanging letters with an Israeli friend. Together, they reveal Revital’s story through her films, news reports, and interviews, culminating in heartbreaking footage of children discussing the violence they’ve witnessed. Without taking sides or casting blame, the film becomes a cine-essay on fear and filmmaking, tragedy and transformation, violence and the land of Israel/Palestine.

RECENT NEWS! Oxford University Press publishes an in-depth analysis of the film in Tim Corrigan’s “The Essay Film – From Montaigne, After Marker”. You can find the book here.

“3 Stars! Presents a mature, artistic meditation on Middle East violence.”  Video Librarian

“Parallels the layers of history of the Middle East – demonstrating the possibilities as well as limitations of bridging the gap between Palestinians and Israelis engaging the politics of conflict.”   Dr. Jeffrey Shandler, Dep’t of Jewish Studies, Rutgers University

“Both humanist reverie and implicit cautionary tale.” Village Voice

This film is currently only available with a password. Please write to info@lynnesachs.com to request access.

For inquiries about rentals or purchases please contact Canyon Cinema, the Film-makers’ Cooperative, or Icarus Films. And for international bookings, please contact Kino Rebelde

Note:  To preview a full length version of this film in English or with Chinese subtitles, please contact director Lynne Sachs at lynnesachs@gmail.com


Bard High School/Early College, Barnard College, Brown University, City University of New York, Cornell University, Duke University, Georgetown, New York University, Princeton University, University of California, University of Texas & others.

Atalanta: 32 Years Later

Atalanta: 32 Years Later

5 min. color sound, 2006
16mm film released on MiniDV & DVD

A retelling of the age-old fairy tale of the beautiful princess in search of the perfect prince.  In 1974, Marlo Thomas’ hip, liberal celebrity gang created a feminist version of the children’s parable for mainstream TV’s “Free To Be You and Me”. Now in 2006, Sachs dreamed up this new experimental film reworking, a homage to girl/girl romance.

“Very gentle and evocative of foreign feelings.”  George Kuchar

 For inquiries about rentals or purchases please contact Canyon Cinema or the Film-makers’ Cooperative. And for international bookings, please contact Kino Rebelde