and 16mm video was supposed to help families remember their good times
together, but for Caroline Pick’s parents, it was a way to help them forget. She
was there when much of the family archive was shot, but she would later see those
films in a different light after eventually learning their full family chronicle.
Personal history become a meditation on something greater in Pick’s short
documentary, Home Movie, which
screens as part of the Shorts Program at this year’s New York Jewish FilmFestival.
Pick’s parents hailed from Czechoslovakia, but she had a rather privileged
upbringing in Cardiff. As the images of her nuclear family at-play unspool,
Pick’s voiceover starts to describe the friends and extended family who are
missing. Of course, they perished in the Holocaust, but that is hardly meant to
be a surprise. Instead, Pick wonders at her parents ability to seemingly forget
we have seen this sort of film before, but Pick’s editorial judgement is
unusually assured. We do get a feeling of her parents’ personalities and
suspect we see a flicker of sadness in their eyes. She also maybe implies their
survivors’ issues manifested in odd ways, especially when we watch the footage
her father shot of their mother with men suspected of being her lovers.
Regardless, they certainly remained very European and cosmopolitan.
Pick’s approach in Home Movie is simple, but the effect is haunting. Recommended for
viewers who appreciate a shrewd eye for “found” visuals, Home Movie screens this coming Monday (1/16) as part of the 2017
NYJFF’s Shorts Program.
Labels: Documentary, NYJFF '17, Short Films