When two siblings undertake an archaeological excavation of their late grandmother's house, they embark on a magical-realist journey in search of what life remains in the objects we leave behind.

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by trspamfile 3 /10

Wonderful idea falls victim to arrogant and disrespectful filmmakers

As a genealogist I loved the premise: an archeological dig in their late grandmother's house: so much to be learned about who someone truly was from their documents and artifacts. But watching the documentary it's almost as if these filmmakers think they have nothing left to learn about their grandmother because they filmed interviews with her. The artifacts they find are just objects to them for some stylized filmmaking. There's no attempt to learn anything new or understand their grandmother on a deeper level. What did she leave out in their interviews? Who was she as a young lady without their grandfather: the part of herself her grandchildren might not see? The parts she didn't think were important or didn't remember?

You certainly can't say anything was left out to preserve her dignity. As nearly every other reviewer has mentioned, a particularly offensive scene shows the filmmakers' mother (a spot-on impression of Suzy from Curb Your Enthusiasm complete with the f-bombs) patronizing her nearly 90-year-old mother into taking off her clothes down to her bra and panties on camera to try on one of her old dresses. Grandma is clearly uncomfortable but no one is interested in what Grandma wants or how Grandma feels. At a certain point I couldn't watch any more and had to fast forward. The inclusion of this footage in the documentary shows no respect for the subject and makes her daughter and grandchildren look manipulative and exploitative.

I can't help but feel this is more about the filmmakers' feelings than their grandmother or any aspect of her as a person, and this is reinforced by their constant need to insert their unrelated personal details into the documentary (nobody cares about you going to school in Rome). I think this was a great premise for a documentary wasted on filmmakers who were too arrogant to think they had anything left to learn about their grandmother, or that they owed her any kind of dignity in death.

Reviewed by aelroy 9 /10

Exceptionally creative and stylistically unique

I agree with those critics who disapprove of one of the choices in the film, but I feel the uniqueness and creativity expressed in this film puts it in the must-see list of any Documentary aficionado.

It is thought provoking and raises fundemental questions about our own family's mythology, grappling to understand loss of loved ones, and what is our remaining essence.

In a way it is a sad movie about a perrson who lived what appears to have been a rather unremarkable life, however the magical realism style lightens it up.

Stylistically it is an innovative and important film to pay attention to!

Reviewed by yowilwasup 1 /10

For family film

Years ago I read an interview with a studio head who said something like 90% of the scripts they get only the writers mother would enjoy.... today they make a documentary. So many family stories that not even the family would be interested in are turned in to documentaries that no one wants to watch. But Simka went to film school so let her make a film. If your Simka or are sleeping with her you have to watch... the rest of us don't.

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