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

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:


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:



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