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A Letter to Dad

Faculty
Documentary Film and Video
August, 2011

About

Director Srdan Keca is halfway around the world when his dad, Marinko, dies suddenly and alone. Grief-stricken, confused, and somewhat angry, he rushes home to try to make sense of his dad’s death, and his life. Once there, Keca begins assembling the compelling narrative of how his parents met, fell in love, served their country, and began their family; “Your mum led the girl’s troop. Your dad carried the baton . . . .”. Keca is aided by an impressive legacy of letters, photos, and video footage taken and saved by his father, though things get a little murky surrounding his father’s later participation in the war. Earnest interviews with Keca’s mother, his alcoholic uncle, and two of his dad’s oldest friends, compliment Marinko’s footage and propel the gripping narrative toward unexpected discoveries. Throughout, Keca engages a keenly poetic style as he narrates this profoundly personal essay; “Hey Dad, Mum still believes or wants to believe that you had to go. . . .” - Full Frame Documentary Festival synopsis

"What distinguished Keca from the post-World War II generation of the 60s, the post-Vietnam generation of the 80s, and perhaps from his own post-Soviet Union generation, is a lack of accusation. Here is a director looking for a truth he does not seem to have found before making his film. Indeed, Keca is reluctant to tear conclusions from the sometimes shocking accounts of the people he interviews. In that, his film differs from the inculpating discourse of other films exploring the past. (...) Keca forces one to raise one's eyebrows in astonishment. Reality is banal. There might have been a war, massacres, and expulsion but after all, it's all about keeping one's house, driving a car, raising a family. Why one might go out to kill people is a second degree question. In Keca's film, it seems almost beside the point." - East European Film Bulletin

 

Awards, Festivals, and Screenings

Official Selection - IDFA 2011, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Official Selection - Full Frame Documentary Festival 2012, Durham, USA
Best Balkan Documentary – Dokufest 2011, Prizren, Kosovo
Silver Eye Award Nominee 2011 - Institute of Documentary Film, Czech Republic
International Documentary Competition - Trieste Film Festival 2012, Trieste, Italy
Official Selection - Filmfestival goEast 2012, Wiesbaden, Germany