Tag Archives: film about a father who

Film Forward: Film About a Father Who, Queen of the Capital – Slamdance 2020






Film Forward

Film About a Father Who, Queen of the Capital – Slamdance 2020

By Phil Guie


(Feel free to also check out our feature on a trio of Slamdance documentaries reflecting on the challenges facing the county here.)

Daring and intimate, Film About a Father Who probes the life and times of the filmmaker’s father, erstwhile hotelier, and playboy Ira Sachs Sr. Director Lynne Sachs assembles a collage using more than three decades worth of home videos, which often result in a raw and ragged look. Yet there is also an undeniable sense of immediacy from having the principals involved in her father’s series of broken marriages and illicit affairs speaking directly to the camera; some have vivid enough personas that they seem bigger than life.

Sachs presents multiple perspectives by liberally jumping backwards and forwards in time, capturing Ira at different ages and points in his life. In doing so, the film doesn’t draw attention to how he changes so much as what stays the same: how he seems cut off from his own emotions, never running too hot or cool. The theme of numerous observations also applies to the interviews of past wives, lovers, children both legitimate and illegitimate, and, perhaps most unforgettably, Ira’s mother, each of whom contribute a different facet to what is ultimately a complex portrait of a serial philanderer who simultaneously had multiple families.

At the same time Ira is being deconstructed, the film builds toward an epiphany about the nature of family via a parallel narrative involving Sachs and her two siblings from Ira’s first marriage. They recount how they first learned about their father’s affairs, how they subsequently navigated his existence as the Hugh Hefner of Park City, Utah, and how alienating it was for the Sachs children as he cycled through women.

The director’s attitude toward her father—who in the present day has become elderly and senile and, as such, even more enigmatic than he had been in earlier years—never approaches hostile, but she reserves most of her genuine warmth for her brothers, sisters, and half-siblings. Some are considerably younger than her and were kept secret from her. As the camera frames them side-by-side with Sachs, it lingers on their faces as if to marvel at the physical traits they all share.

Eventually, all of Ira’s progeny come together to ponder weighty themes—whether or not they share a parent is enough to make them family. But the documentary seems to argue that due to the complexity of familial bonds, only those caught inside should get to define them. That’s a universal message that will resonate with most viewers, who will likely find Sachs’s objective considerably more admirable than her main subject.

The mostly upbeat Queen of the Capital centers on Daniel Hays, a Washington, DC–based drag artist who performs exclusively to raise money for charity. Hays is also a member of his city’s chapter of the Imperial Court, a nonprofit consisting of and run by his fellow drag queens and kings. Director Joshua Davidsburg follows Hays as he embarks on a campaign to be elected as the organization’s next leader, although given what friendly terms all of the members seem to be on with each other, the end result is quite possibly the least suspenseful documentary about an election ever made.

The film does, however, boast considerable insight into life of a modern-day drag artist in our nation’s capital, including the way in which “drag families” here grow and develop, which is often through established performers taking younger ones under their wings. Hays’ drag father, Jon Shelby, though only a year older than Hays, comes across world-weary enough that their father-child relationship is completely believable. The more we learn about Shelby, especially some of the darker incidents of his life, the more touching are his scenes with Hays, who had his own share of troubles during his youth.

Through a combination of archived footage as well as interviews, Queen of the Capital also provides a rousing history lesson about drag’s place in the city, including such colorful episodes as the bitter war between rival clubs from which the Imperial Court emerged. But we also get an idea of how the day-to-day lives of drag performers—and LGBTQ men and women in general—have improved significantly from decades past, with Hays and others having jobs in the federal government in which they can openly discuss what they do outside of the office. The extent to which they have become comfortably integrated into the fabric of Washington, DC, is apparent in the footage of the Imperial Court’s charitable events, in which people of all stripes engage with them warmly.

Though the film’s election season story line isn’t a nail-biter, Davidsburg seems to be eyeing something that’s more inspiring than politics, and he largely captures it.


48 Hills: “What We Saw at Sundance Pt. 2: A Sidetrip to Slamandce”





48 Hills 

What we saw at Sundance, Part 2: A side-trip to Slamdance

 By Jesse Hawthorne Ficks

Culling through the forty features viewed at both the Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals last week has been as much fun as watching them in the first place. Here is a spoiler-free account of some the fest’s best to bookmark in your calendar for the upcoming year. Read part one here

Allotting some of my precious “Sundance movie going time” to make the hop-skip-and-a-jump up Main Street to attend rivaling venue Slamdance, has been immensely important since its inception in 1995. Slamdance’s commitment to “emerging artists and low-budget independent cinema” was born out of the inevitable missteps made by the ever-growing Sundance Institute. Every year I am rewarded with a truly remarkable debut that Sundance passed on, such as Christopher Nolan’s Following (1998), Bong Joon-ho’s Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000), Jared Hess’s Peluca (2003), the nine-minute short film that inspired Napoleon Dynamite, and Ben Zeitlin’s Egg (2004)—a thesis project which led to creation of Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)—Marilyn Agrelo’s crowd-cheering Mad Hot Ballroom (2005), and Oren Peli’s low budget phenomenon Paranormal Activity (2008).

To my absolute astonishment, I can easily say that this year’s 2020 festival delivered the most moving amount of films of any previous year. Returning again and again to program after program, I found the rough edges, bold moments, and surprising personalities that I often find lacking from many of Sundance’s US Premiere and US Dramatic categories. (Thankfully Sundance re-invented their “Spectrum” category in the late 2000s and conceived the “NEXT” program, which provides a showcase for what the festival calls “pure, bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to story-telling.” Or in other words, the Slamdance Film Festival.


Film About a Father Who (USA)
Experimental filmmaking legend Lynne Sachs kicked off Slamdance on opening night with an emotionally striking feature exploring the complexities of her narcissistically charming father. Using 8mm, 16mm, videotape, and digital footage, and shot over 35 years (from 1984 to 2019), her perennial process of documenting “bon vivant and pioneering Utah businessman” Ira Sachs Sr. will undoubtedly hit quite a nerve with anyone who’s grown up with an egotistically captivating fountainhead for a father. But Sachs isn’t just airing her family’s dirty laundry here—including interviews with Lynne’s younger brother, iconic indie filmmaker Ira Sachs: see The Delta (1997), Forty Shades of Blue (2005), Keep the Lights On (2012), and Love Is Strange(2014). This unique and epic familial expedition masterfully employs an experimental inventiveness that swims through a myriad harrowing home movies captured within more than a few fascinating formats, and diverse decades. Sachs, referencing the title of Yvonne Rainer’s landmark feminist feature Film About a Woman Who (1974), practices what Rainer was preaching—and in turn has constructed one of the most powerfully pertinent documentaries of recent years.

The Pop Break: “Film About a Father Who Review: A Film as Ambiguous as Its Subject”






The Pop Break

‘Film About a Father Who’ Review: As Ambiguous as its Subject

By Marisa Carpico

Documentarian Lynne Sachs and her filmmaker brother, Ira Sachs Jr., have always made emotionally complex films. Whether its Lynne’s literal and historical exploration of Vietnam in Which Way Is East or Ira Jr.’s aching meditation on longtime love inLove is Strange, neither has been afraid to dig into ambiguity or tough subject matter. However, Lynne’s newest, Film About a Father Who, (which includes some footage shot by Ira) brings that unflinching honesty to a new level as it explores their complex relationship with their absent father Ira Sr. and the sprawling family his philandering has created.

Named for Yvonne Rainer’s Film About a Woman Who… which follows a woman’s sexual escapades and the resulting/motivating unhappiness in an abstract, montage-like way, Sachs’s film is similarly structured and culled from footage filmed on half a dozen different media from 1965 to 2019. Though Sachs tells her father’s story in roughly chronological order, she uses few of the documentary techniques we’re used to. Rather, what we see rarely synchs with what we hear and it can take a few minutes to grow accustomed to the film’s style.

However, while scenes where images of Lynne and her siblings at much younger ages play under recordings of them talking about their father in modern day may confuse some viewers, they’re also incredibly effective. Every scene examines not only their memories of their father, but how each child’s understanding of Ira Sr. changed over time. Watching an adolescent Adam (Ira Sr.’s son with his second wife, Diana) talk nervously if admiringly about his father contrasted with his more reserved assessment in present day is striking and the film delivers that level of brutal frankness again and again.

Indeed, though Sachs repeatedly expresses her adoration for her father, part of what makes her film so effective is how willing she is to criticize him too. Two scenes in particular stand out. The first shows Lynne interviewing Diana. Turned almost completely away from the camera and constantly on the verge of tears, we can hear just how much Ira Sr.’s cheating and lies hurt her, complicating and expanding the hurt Lynne and her sister Dana felt when they first met Diana on a trip to Bali they thought was just with their father.

The second comes much later, when one of Lynne’s half-siblings, Beth, hidden from the rest of the family for most of her life, explains that being around her siblings stings not just because she didn’t know them for so long, but because she resents the time and financial support Ira Sr. gave them. Listening to so many painful stories about Ira Sr.’s failings as a father, the audience naturally longs to hear him explain his actions, but that’s precisely the one thing Sachs never really manages to unpack.

Knowing that Lynne has been working on this film for 26 years, it’s easy to wonder why she doesn’t come to a more definitive conclusion about who her father is or what family means for her and her siblings. Some of that is, of course, Ira Sr.’s doing. One of the film’s most frustrating and memorable moments comes near the end, when Lynne tells Ira Sr. in voice over that because the newer audio will be better, she has to re-record some of what he’s said before. We expect the silence that follows to end with some revelation, whether about the trauma that made Ira Sr. so afraid of being emotionally frank or how he feels looking back on his behavior. Instead, the film goes on as it has before, allowing Lynne or the other siblings to speak about his effect on them. And while the choice emphasizes how much of a mystery Ira Sr. still remains, it can also leave the audience with a taste of the bitter dissatisfaction his children experience.

As viewers who only get to know Ira Sachs Sr. through the picture Lynne paints, it can be frustrating to hear him speak so little about why he lived the life he did or the emotional toll both his childhood and his sprawling progeny had on him. In a more straightforward documentary, not hearing his explanation would leave the film feeling incomplete. Yet because this is a personal story told by the children forced to come to terms with his behavior, preserving that ambiguity also, as Lynne herself puts it, preserves the truth. Both Lynne and we are perhaps no closer to understanding Ira Sr. by film’s end, but we at least know him as his children do and all things considered, that’s nothing short of miraculous.



Agnès Films: Supporting Women & Feminist Filmmakers – Review by Alexandra Hidalgo

Agnes Films logo




Agnes Films

Review of Lynne Sachs’ Film About a Father Who

By Alexandra Hidalgo

When Lynne Sachs’s intimate and mesmerizing personal documentary Film About a Father Who opens, we see a closeup of fingers trying to untangle a knot in someone’s white hair. The camera reveals that the hair belongs to an older man whose eyes close in pain at the fingers’ attempt to unsnarl the mess. He cries out in discomfort, and a woman’s voice says, “Sorry, Dad. There’s just one part that’s very tangly.” We then cut to a wide shot of a room where books and photos crowd every inch of its floor-to-ceiling built-in shelves and we see Sachs, comb in hand, standing behind her father, Ira, who sits on a chair. While her father’s long hair might have one tangly part, his life, which the film unravels with loving complexity, is a Gordian knot of secrets and desire.

Shot between 1965 and 2019 by Sachs, her brother Ira Sachs Jr., and her father, the film weaves a visual tapestry of a family’s attempt to come to terms with its own identity as its enigmatic patriarch remains forever just out of reach. Blending 8mm and 16mm film, VHS, Hi8, MiniDV, and digital footage, About a Father is a visual marvel, a study of the longing for the past that older film and video technologies evoke in viewers. Instead of being displayed in a chronological procession, however, the film jumps from decade to decade and from 8mm to digital to VHS. Like our memories of those who have been by our side since childhood, About a Father blends decades and styles, arranged around emotional beats instead of the order in which events unfolded.

As we see handheld 16mm footage of her father as a young man lying happily in a field of dandelions, Sachs explains through narration, “Dad had his own language and we were expected to speak it. I loved him so much that I agreed to his syntax, his set of rules.” That syntax includes a gentle yet constant refusal to answer certain questions, in particular those that pertain to his relationships with the wives, mistresses, and girlfriends that populate his life to this day. Sachs, her brother Ira Jr., and her sister Dana, come from her father’s first marriage, but as the film unravels we encounter the various children that descend from his countless other romantic relationships.

Sachs and her two full siblings are left to discover these new brothers and sisters over the years and to figure out how to develop closeness with these increasingly younger people with whom they share so little and yet so much. Several of the film’s interviews feature characters in backlit closeup profiles to the side of the screen, so that only part of their face is visible. Like Sachs, we see only fractions of the characters we meet, trying to piece together a puzzle that by its very nature will always be incomplete. And yet, an incomplete image is better than no image at all when it comes to understanding our families and our places within the larger communities they represent.

The film is generous in its portrayal of Sachs’ father and achingly vulnerable in its attempt to make sense of the wake of affection and resentment he has left behind. Sachs takes a story that could have been overly dramatic and judgmental and instead constructs a nuanced meditation on what it feels like to love someone whose actions have hurt us and others. Toward the end of the film, she explains, “This is not a portrait. This is not a self-portrait. This is my reckoning with the conundrum of our asymmetry.” As she says this, the camera in 16mm follows her father, who seems to be walking in a circle and smiling at the lens, present but always out of reach. And yet, in this compelling and genuine documentary, she has captured his essence and taken the audience on a hypnotic and profound journey. Anyone who has ever found themselves confounded by unexpected revelations about those closest to us will find themselves in this film and walk away from it with a deeper understanding of their own lives, even if they don’t solve the conundrum of Ira Sachs’s asymmetry.

To learn more about Film About a Father Who, visit the film’s website and take a look at its IMDb. To learn more about Alexandra, visit her profile.


Go Indie Now: Slamdance 2020







Go Indie Now

Slamdance 2020 Part 1 Shorts & Bio Docs

By Joe Compton

Let me first start this blog by saying a special incredible thank you to everyone on the Slamdance team who make this festival possible each and every year, and who welcome Go Indie Now to cover it. It’s one of the true pleasures and privileges of our entire year and we know how lucky we are to be a small part of it. We also would like to thank all the artists themselves and their Public Relations teams for making yourselves willing and able to talk to us during this busy time.

2020 was an interesting year at Park City, to say the least. The documentary, real-life, and gritty subject matter ruled the programming. It was rightfully so and much deserved though too. However, I felt like there was another, probably more subtle resurgence or welcoming back in a way of the short film format and media. In a way, it is back to becoming not just a means to experiment or create a proof of concept for, though that ultimately might be their purpose becomes or was intended for, but in their own way they became true essence and the art of storytelling. Doing it better than they could have as a full feature narrative or episodic. Not that they can’t be expanded upon or further explored but that they have to be without an appreciation for how awesome they are just as the short form.

The short films I saw at this festival blew me away and were so strong. So let me highlight quite a few of them here right now. I think every one of these artists, behind and in front of the cameras are folks you should be looking out for strongly in 2020 and beyond.


EDITED BY Rebecca Shapass
MUSIC COMPOSED BY Stephen Vitiello

WHAT THIS FILM DOES WELL: Let me just say Lynne is a legend and her style and abilities are at the top of the list in terms of Documentarians and their storytelling styles go but this one is so different in feel and almost by the nature of the way this has to be presented has to a different look that serves as a triumph and not a crutch or gimmick. Really no avoiding the fact that not every shot was composed and lit or mic’ ed properly. Yet in true Lynne Sachs form she weaves such an intricate and intimate narrative that twists and turns with the best of them you almost expect that there might have been some prior planned composition to those “home movie” feels. It also strikes you because the one being most affected in and throughout is her and her family. So in a weird and interesting way, this film that starts looking into a family patriarch becomes a character-driven, dilemma type story that interweaves the documenter with the subject matter and creates a mystery cloaked in a soap opera type drama. The fun aspects are the ratio and framing of a lot of raw footage that gets shot overtime on many different devices and how it enhances the experiences of the narrative. A skill set that editor Rebecca Shapass clearly possesses in spades. Documentaries are often that idea that what you see is not what you will get in the end and in a way because of the brave way in which Lynne chooses to put herself out there, comfortable or not, we really see a 4th wall crash that presents such a compelling and shocking result. A choice I know in talking to her was not an easy one to make. Yet this film has very few moments of bleakness and never are they overt; another display of the skill set that Lynne possesses as a proven Documentarian. Instead it chooses naturally to highlight and enhance the positive aspects of the reveals which may have been its most impressive “magic trick”.

WHY THIS FILM HAS TO BE CHAMPIONED: Quite Frankly because as an audience we owe it to Lynne who has given us compelling subject matter to absorb, feel, be weary, and aware of over the years, to applaud her courage and never relenting from the vision that there was a narrative to this film. One that shocks and even educates as to the perils of a lifetime that one can only hope evolves in our society and not highlights its prevalence. Lynne Sachs puts it all out there in a manner not always comfortable, not always revealing but sometimes stark, frank, and truthfully needs to be viewed and not judged. That makes this experience unique but makes this documentary compelling and worth the ride.


https:// goindienow.com/home/slamdance2020_pt1

This Week in New York – Doc Fortnight: Film About a Father Who

This Week In New York




This Week in New York

Doc Fortnight: Film About a Father Who

“We’re pretty candid about who Dad is, and we’ve seen him through a lot, but we’re also able to shift what we might recognize as who he really is to what we want him to be,” experimental documentarian Lynne Sachs says in Film About a Father Who, a revealing look at the patriarch of her seemingly ever-expanding family, her dad, Ira Sachs Sr. Inspired by Yvonne Rainer’s seminal 1974 work A Film About a Woman Who . . . , a cinematic collage exploring sexual conflict, and Heinrich Boll’s 1971 novel Group Portrait with Lady, Sachs’s movie, screening February 11 and 14 in MoMA’s annual Documentary Fortnight series, consists of footage taken over a period of fifty-four years, beginning in 1965, using 8mm and 16mm film, VHS, Hi8, Mini DV, and digital images, edited by Rebecca Shapass. Now eighty-three, Ira Sachs Sr. was a sex-loving, pot-smoking minor-league hotelier, a neglectful, emotionally unavailable husband and father, both selfish and generous, carefully guarding secrets that Lynne, her sister, journalist and author Dana Sachs, and her brother, filmmaker Ira Sachs Jr., discuss with their six half-siblings, children their father had with other wives and girlfriends, some of whom they did not know about for many years.

Ira Sr.’s mother, Rose Sachs, known as Maw-maw, who left him when he was young, says of his womanizing, “I can’t stand that way of life.” His first wife, Lynne’s mother, Diane Sachs, speaks about what an easy decision divorcing him was. “Marriage was just a lot of being up at night, going to the window, wondering when he was coming home,” she explains. His second wife, Diana Lee, says through tears, “He’s a mistake.” Yet nearly all the women in his life, relatives and companions alike, profess their undying love for the long-haired, bushy-mustached man who was able to cast a spell over them despite, at least outwardly, not appearing to be a particularly eloquent Don Juan type and never remaining faithful. But there’s also more than a hint of psychological abuse he suffered at the hands of his mother. “She treated me as an enemy,” he says.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that the first three children of such a secretive man all went into the storytelling arts, mixing fiction and nonfiction in film and literature; Ira has won awards for such films as Forty Shades of Blue and Love Is Strange, Dana’s books include the novel If You Lived Here and the Vietnam memoir The House on Dream Street, and Lynne’s documentaries range from Investigation of a Flame and Sermons and Sacred Pictures to Your Day Is My Nightand States of UnBelonging. There are numerous shots of family members filming other relatives; at one point, Lynne is filming Ira Jr. filming Ira Sr. while watching home movies on the television.  Film About a Father Who , which features music by sound artist Stephen Vitiello, is a striking portrait of an unusually dysfunctional family, a true story that has been in the making for more than a half century and even now provides only some of the answers. Perhaps you can find out more when it screens at MoMA’s Festival of International Nonfiction Film and Media on February 11 at 8:00, introduced by Lynne; it is also being shown February 14 at 4:30.


E Nina Rothe: “This is not a portrait”: Lynne Sachs’ must watch ‘Film About a Father Who’ screens in NYC





E Nina Rothe

“This is not a portrait”: Lynne Sachs’ must watch ‘Film About a Father Who’ screens in NYC – E. Nina Rothe

Sigmund Freud once famously claimed “I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.” Yet so many of us, in dysfunctionally functional families around the world, have had fathers who better resembled Bluebeard than Ward Cleaver. We’ve had to, in fact, find protection in the arms of strangers or better yet, from our own courage.

As far as my own life, I remember dad during my early childhood and then it all becomes a bit fuzzy until his death in 2018. The two eras, more than forty years apart come with feelings as opposite as one can imagine. My childhood was idyllic, in many ways and yet by the time of his death, my dad had shut me out of his life and his inheritance — both emotional and monetary. It’s as if he’d wiped out all the happy thoughts of my early years.

What had happened in between, you might be asking right about now? Many wives, loads of strangers’ personal agendas and none of them included an only daughter who simply and honestly wanted an adult relationship with her immature dad.

So to me, Lynne Sachs’ ‘Film About a Father Who’ is simply a masterpiece. And quite clearly, Sachs is someone whose own issues with her father have turned her into a phenomenal woman — full of creativity and courage.

But a word of warning to all. Her film, although beautifully constructed and utterly pleasant to watch, brings up all sorts of emotions that will require additional viewings and many upcoming conversations with friends and family. Don’t expect to walk out of ‘Film About a Father Who’ with answers, because you’ll find yourself riddled with more questions. Sachs’ film premiered as the opening film at Slamdance and will play in NYC at the upcoming Museum of Modern Art’s Doc Fortnight on February 11th and 14th.

In certain spots, Sachs’ film reminded me of something I watched last winter, in Rotterdam — Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘Le livre d’image’ in that while it tells the story of an imperfectly perfect father in a linear way, and here comes the Godard part — it uses techniques more often used in visual art and literature than in cinema. Sachs followed her dad around, and lots of other family members including her famous director brother Ira Jr., with a camera for several years, allowing the audience to grow with their characters and feel like we too spent time around that coffee table, seated on their couch. That’s the quality I most enjoyed in a film that truly sits in my heart, weeks after first viewing it.

To say that Ira Sachs Sr. is an interesting character would be an understatement. He is the perfect leading man for a cinematic oeuvre like ‘Film About a Father Who’. Sachs is vibrantly interesting, unaggressive and has kind eyes yet ones that hide a lot of conflicting emotions. He’s also a real estate developer — he helped turn Park City, Utah into a tourist destination — a philanthropist, a womanizer and an environmentalist. And, as he’s set up in the opening shots of the film when Lynne first introduces him to her audience while she combs the knots out of his long silver mane, a true-born-badass hippie.


The New York Times: 4 Film Series to Catch in NYC This Weekend








New York Times

4 Film Series to Catch in NYC This Weekend

By Ben Kenigsberg

Our guide to film series and special screenings happening this weekend and in the week ahead. All our movie reviews are at nytimes.com/reviews/movies.

DOC FORTNIGHT 2020 at the Museum of Modern Art (through Feb. 19). One of New York City’s biggest documentary showcases brings films straight from Park City, Utah, where the Sundance Film Festival concluded on Saturday. “Film About a Father Who” (on Tuesday and Feb. 14), shown at the parallel event Slamdance, is actually partly set in that ski town; in it, the filmmaker Lynne Sachs creates a layered cinematic essay about being the daughter of the “Hugh Hefner of Park City.” The program will also feature the great Japanese documentarian Kazuo Hara (the subject of a retrospective at MoMA last year and a favorite of Errol Morris and Michael Moore) and the first United States screening of his “Reiwa Uprising” (on Wednesday), a four-hour portrait of a transgender professor’s political campaign in Japan. And a recurring theme in this year’s Doc Fortnight is violence against women, a topic in films like “Overseas” (on Sunday and Feb. 13), about Filipinas training to be housekeepers in other countries.



Criterion Daily: Doc Fortnight 2020

Criterion Daily









Criterion Collection

Doc Fortnight 2020

By David Hudson

Doc Fortnight 2020 opens tonight at the Museum of Modern Art, and it will offer New Yorkers a first opportunity to see a number of highlights from Sundance Film Festival, which wrapped over the weekend. Crip Camp,the winner of an audience award, focuses on the origins of the movement that would lead to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.Screen’s Fionnuala Halligan calls the film “enlightening and inspirational” but also “occasionally heart-breaking” in that it “recalls the idealism of the 1970s, long since gone.”

Also arriving in New York straight from Park City is Film About a Father Who,which opened this year’s Slamdance. Director Lynne Sachs says that it “bears witness to the familial tensions that arose from my attempt to understand the web that connects a child to her parent and a sister to her siblings, some of whom I have known all their lives, others I only recently discovered.”

The program also features a showcase of interactive and immersive documentary art, a salute to the late artist and filmmaker Barbara Hammer, a collection of short works by Basma alSharif and Sky Hopinka, and a presentation of Mark Cousins’s fourteen-hour series Women Make Film: A New Road Movie through Cinema(2018), narrated by Tilda Swinton, Jane Fonda, Debra Winger, Adjoa Andoh, Kerry Fox, Thandie Newton, and Sharmila Tagore. Doc Fortnight 2020 will run through February 19.