zaterdag 21 november 2015
Today's Review: A Family Affair
Reviewing for FilmTotaal continues:
A Family Affair - recensie
This was one boring watch. I had a tough time sitting this one out. I can't imagine why this would be the opening documentary for the IDFA (International Documentary Festival Amsterdam). It was just stale in every way. Stilistically it was a dud, mostly consisting of archive footage and talking heads. Worse thing, I couldn't care less about the topic. Grandmother is a cold hearted bitch and the whole family hates her. So of course the director, her grandson, would want to know why. But that is exactly what we just can't put our finger on. It's just the way it is. Bringing her back from South Africa to confront the rest of the family is a bad idea for everybody. It's not helping anyone discovering new perspectives, it just confirms that grandma doesn't care and nobody cares about grandma. Even the director is eventually antagonized by her ongoing manipulations. Which get particularly awkward when she declares she's in love with him. Yeah, right...
A Family Affair's biggest problem is its subject just proves wholly annoying. This is one mean old woman. Not someone you want to watch for the better part of two hours. I did, and I didn't enjoy it. As far as I'm concerned, this affair had better be left to the family itself. Why bother audiences with it? Especially in theaters, when it lacks the punch to be big screen material. This sort of documentary is usually seen late at night on public television. Or on documentary festivals for a one time screening. But not as an opening feature for the world's most prestigious documentary festival.