The Family Camera

According to a joke circulated in cultural anthropology circles a traditional indigenous family consists of a man/husband, a woman/wife, their offspring and ... an anthropologist. In the case of documentary filmmakers, the additional member to their families seems to be the camera. Whatever its lens might capture, it will never be objective but always highly personal. Here are six films made by six filmmakers who gather the courage to invite the audience in the middle of their families.

  • O gospodină perfectă

    A Perfect Housewife

    Growing up in Israel, Jane never conformed to her family’s patriarchal traditions; she refused to marry, choosing instead to join the army, and afterwards to study filmmaking. When at 38 she becomes pregnant, she returns in the midst of her family equipped with a camera, trying to address the years of silence and to understand her mother, herself and their strained relationship. Demonstrating spirit and fearlessness in confronting her family and exposing her life, Jane tackles her marked decisions to be an independent, professional woman and her family’s expectations for her to comply or at least accept their customs. While evidently disagreeing with her mother on all matter of topics, the film is also a chance to consider the other person’s perspective.

    Jane Bibi • Israel • 2018 • 73′

  • Video de familie

    My Home Video

    Only one video tape remained of my parents. Finding it after almost 20 years made me realize that my sister and I have never spoken about our loss. We grew up with our grandparents in a Russian-German ghetto somewhere in rural Germany. I want to know about my sister´s feelings. And I want to let her know how I am feeling. (Andreas Boschmann)

    Andreas Boschmann • Germany • 2018 • 29′

  • The Opposite of Love is Not Hate

    A dark secret is buried under the floorboards of the house the four siblings are about to sell. In this personal documentary, the intricate balance of one family and the echoes of one person’s story within the family are examined. The memories of the four children are presented in a dream-like reality in which they confront a painful past.

    Hadas Hechter • Israel • 2019 • 28′

  • The Silhouette of Braids

    The Silhouette of Braids

    Rotem persuades her mother, Varda, to watch her childhood videos. 8mm films were discovered as documentation of an amateur filmmaker, Varda’s mother, who documented her life in Tel Aviv in the late 1960s. The films shed light on past memories mixed with the present revealing not only the life of an extraordinary woman but also her relationship with her own daughter.

    Rotem Dimand • Israel • 2018 • 16′

  • Părinților mei

    To My Parents

    As a child of Portuguese immigrants in Luxembourg, Melanie Pereira explores her parents’ past through videotapes, which they used to record their new surroundings and doings in that distant country. We discover their pasts and their struggles, as well as the director’s own effort to adjust in a country where she wasn’t born nor raised, without her parents.

    Melanie Pereira • Portugal • 2018 • 29′

  • We Were All to be Queens

    We Were All to be Queens

    An autoethnographic journey going through the VHS home videos from the filmmaker’s childhood. The film questions the social and cultural structures that women are put through from a very young age to become the perfect woman, exploring the tradition of Valencia’s Fallas as their ultimate objectification. But queens, castles and blue princes are left behind and the woman can finally break free.

    Ana Catalá • Spania • 2019 • 24′