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    Bradford Int’l Film Festival

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    In A Dream screens tonight at the Bradford International Film Festival in West Yorkshire, UK. From the program:

    We are proud to showcase a duo of “personal” documentaries from the USA at this year’s BIFF – see also Kurt Kuenne’s Dear Zachary – both of which have achieved enormous critical and audience acclaim on the global film festival circuit in recent months.

    Of the two, however, only one made it onto the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s 15-strong shortlist for the Best Documentary Oscar – alongside heavy hitters such as Werner Herzog (BIFF 2009 selection Encounters at the End of the World), Errol Morris (Standard Operating Procedure) and James Marsh (Man On Wire) – namely Jeremiah Zagar’s delicately beautiful family chronicle In a Dream.

    On one level, the film, which has picked up awards and honours at half a dozen American festivals so far, is a loving tribute to the director’s father Isaiah, the eccentric artist responsible for the ubiquitous, ethereal, outsize mosaic/murals (“crazy-quilt images of people, often the artist himself, shards of shattered mirror, cracked crockery, bottles, bicycles”) which adorn walls in certain downtown corners of his native Philadelphia.

    But there’s much more going on here than merely a series of beautiful images capturing Zagar Sr’s hypnotic, alluring artworks – though the film’s visuals are astonishing in their limpid clarity. What emerges is a startling and turbulent family chronicle involving both of the director’s parents, plus his elder brother Zeke. It’s a work of remarkable intelligence, tact and grace – especially considering that this is Zagar Jr’s very first feature-length work.

    In the words of Philadelphia Inquirer critic Steven Rea, the film “captures a family imploding. Their lives are laid bare, in broken bits, like the ceramic that Isaiah uses for his art, and they come together in In a Dream with sadness and beauty, rage and insight.”

    Date & Time:
    Thursday, March 19th @ 4:30pm in the Cubby Broccoli Cinema

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