Get us in your inbox

My Father My Lord

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars
Ironically, the BBFC has given David Volach’s intensely felt, beautifully crafted, finely acted and very personal debut feature a PG certificate for ‘mild distress’. Given that this intimate portrait of an ultra-orthodox Tel Aviv family –  strict elderly rabbi Abraham (Assi Dayan), pretty wife Esther, eight-year-old Menahem (Ilan Griff) – opens with an arresting, upsetting  portrait of burden and pain, that description seems like a euphemism. But the richness  of the film’s pleasures means you shouldn’t let that put you off.

You could say this film is at once a secular fable on a religious dilemma and an almost religious parable about an all-too-human tragedy. Adapting the tale of Abraham and Isaac, Volach presents a calm, elegiacally scored and observant portrait of a fraught relationship between a father and son. Volach perhaps allows his sympathetic celebration of the boy’s sense of wonder and connection with the natural world to be outweighed by his more biting view of the morally complex, self-denying habits and moral burdens of the father. But, as a portrayal of righteous patriarchy, it shares both the clarity of Bergman in his depictions of his Calvinist father and the searing sense of separation with which the Tavianis imbued their ‘Padre Padrone’.
Written by Wally Hammond
You may also like
You may also like

The best things in life are free.

Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

Loading animation
Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!