“Death of the cinema and of my father too”, Dani Rosenberg carried away by the dying man

The Israeli intertwines in a large formal jumble of images of his family at the time of his father’s death and fictional layers where the same are replayed by actors.

Here is a film made by a filmmaker who does not bother with preliminary explanations and throws us into the disorder of his family history, marital and his artistic haircuts in twelve to such an extent that we ourselves take a little time to sort through this jumble where autobiographical elements are doubled by an embryo of fiction then by a mourning meta film, renewing with alter egos the situation really experienced and which changed the project of the film that we see. Everyone follows? Better to spoil the project for once to see the work. So Dani Rosenberg, a young filmmaker, obtains a grant to shoot a fiction whose subject is Israel’s fear of being bombed by Iran. His father, Natan Rosenberg, plays the main role, an atrabilary and paranoid character taking his family by car to Jerusalem, a sacred site that “Muslims are not going to destroy”. But Natan discovers he has liver cancer which ends up taking him away. His son then transforms the project into a complex and sometimes exaggeratedly complicated fiction on the pain of the loss of the father and of the film, on the obsession with filming when nothing is turning right, the ironic anguish of the first story on the declaration of war coming from Iran giving way to a more concrete panic in the face of the disease. The filmmaker hires producer Marek Rozenbaum to play his father, renamed Yoel Edelstein, and Roni Kuban to play that of the son, Asaf, obsessive and clumsy. Two women observe and criticize this male pair, Asaf’s partner, pregnant and neglected, and Yoel / Natan’s fictitious and real wife, Ina Rosenberg.

Nurturing the different layers of stories – the shooting of the film in the film, the images of the real agony of his father, the extracts of home-movie shot over time with his Super 8 camera, flashing the real one and reconstructing it by rocking from a plane l The other exasperated Natan Rosenberg and his fictionalized “replacement” Yoel Edelstein – Death of the cinema and of my father too reflects the incredible mess of intentions , misunderstandings, collusion, successful, missed or forgotten events which form the framework of an inaugural experience (to shoot one’s first “real” film) or of a farewell to existence (knowing oneself condemned by the inexorable pathology). Neither the son nor the father are particularly to be saved, or loved, both lost in the tangled system of their exhausting sadomasochistic dependence on filiation and autofiction. The exercise is a touching confession and great neurotic unpacking, as when the filmmaker’s wife criticizes her for her immaturity and absences at times as crucial as her first ultrasound, or when the mother faints while her husband chooses the funeral urn where he wants to store his ashes, the registers of drama and comedy appearing from one sequence to another in a continuum of uncertain and sometimes more traumatic moments of being relieved of any importance or gravity.

Death of cinema and of my father too by Dani Rosenberg with Natan Rosenberg, Marek Rozenbaum, Roni Kuban, Ina Rosenberg… 1 h 42.

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