Transfer: n/a Extras: n/a
Genre: Documentary / Hot Docs 2014
Synopsis: Affecting examination of four people whose psyches were shaped by the loss and / or absence of loved ones.
Special Features: n/a
As her own mother’s mental health disintegrates from the gradual effects of Alzheimer’s, director Carole Laganière seeks to understand how a major absence effects people (namely adults with traumatic events in their youthful pasts), but in the process of making this film, she also creates an absence in her mother’s life as Laganière travels with her three subjects who themselves are struggling with absent family members.
Documented are a woman’s attempts to track down her possibly mentally ill sister who may be in Toronto; a son who reconnects with the family abandoned by his now-dead father; and a women who returns to her hometown of Dubrovnik, Croatia, to meet the mother who ‘left with a soldier’ and never returned to her family as the former Yugoslavia was fracturing.
It’s a moving and frustrating film because not all quests yield closures: the reasons why two figures ostensibly abandoned their respective families are never detailed, and only one manages to manifests some genuine closure, but his ability to move forward is no less challenging than the other subjects, including Laganière, who knows there will come a day when her mother will no longer be capable of recognizing her.
© 2014 Mark R. Hasan
Category: Blu-ray / DVD Film Review