Last night I saw a New Zealand film ‘In My Fathers Den’. The film, written and directed by Brad McGann, and adapted from a novel by Maurice Gee, was the opening night film of this years’ Sydney Film Festival. It was time to step into the shoes of the main character. Paul.
Paul was an internationally famous war photographer who had to come home to hishometown in New Zealand to attend his father’s funeral. He didn’t want to stay too long because this was his past life and he didn’t want to get drawn into all that negative energy again. He had left the hell that was his family home in his late teens to make a new life for himself, and he was succeeding.
Through the film he is forced to confront all kinds of angels and demons.
He spends plenty of time in his late father’s den, where he looks at his books and listens to his classical music.
He had to relate again to his brother who he had never gotten on with. He had to meet up with his old childhood sweetheart again and feel some of the old feelings again. The largest demon by far was facing up to some of his father’s dark influence.
By the film’s end he felt he had been through everything. Had he learnt anything?! That one can’t put one’s head in the sand and pretend that one doesn’t have to face things. Avoidance can be the worst enemy!
Stepping out of Paul’s shoes for a moment, ‘In My Father’s Den’ was a well made, poignant drama from New Zealand with strong performances by the cast including Matthew MacFayden in the lead, and our own Miranda Otto.