(Otets I syn)
Directed by Alexander Sokurov. 2003.
Father (Andrei Shetinin) and son (Alexei Nejmyshev) live together on the top floor of an apartment house and have done so for many years since the death of their mother. Their world looks like a sanctuary but may be a prison. It was while attending a school for air cadets that the father met his wife and bore his son, now 20. His son's physical appearance reminds the father of his late wife and their bond is intense and emotional. Alexei attends military school like his father who left military service against his will and wants his son to pick up where he left off. He has a girl friend but there is a distance between them. She is jealous of his relationship with his father that to her appears overprotective and he does not want to give up his father's closeness.
Alexei's father is conflicted
about looking for a job in a different city and seeking a new wife. They
must decide whether to continue their lives together or independently.
The struggle for freedom and independence is mutual but they are held together
by a transcendent love. Father and Son is an enigmatic but deeply poetic
film about the complex bond that a son has with his father. While the film
is open to interpretation from different cultural, psychological, or religious
points of view (the film says, “A father who loves his son crucifies him.
A son who loves his father sacrifices himself for him”), for me, the best
approach is to avoid the temptation to analyze and just bathe in the warmth
of its loving glow.
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