First Cousin Once Removed: New York Film Festival 2012



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New York Film Festival 2012: First Cousin Once Removed

New York Film Festival 2012: First Cousin Once Removed

It sounds unwatchable: Filmmaker Alan Berliner chronicles the slow five-year deterioration of his cousin, Edwin Honig, as he succumbs to Alzheimer’s disease. But don’t let the tough subject matter dissuade you from catching one of the festival’s most rewarding entries. It would have been easy for the director to sentimentalize his learned family member, if for no other reasons than his astonishing wealth of knowledge and envious accomplishments (a poet and translator, he’s been knighted in both Portugal and Spain). But Berliner goes much deeper, contrasting Honig’s many triumphs with his numerous failures as a family man, editing the movie to capture the sensation of living entirely unmoored from your past. The film is both an ode to the fragility of memory, as well as a tough elegy for a man whose inspiring strengths are inseparable from his off-putting flaws.—Keith Uhlich

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Users say

helene Aylon
helene Aylon

There's a story of a life and there's the revelation of what the end of a life could be. The film is pure poetry and pure visual/sound genius - an intricate weave that shines a light into the dark recesses and wakes one up blinking , staggering.