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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movies Made By Sons About Their Dads

posted by Nell Minow

Two small independent films opened up in New York this week that are both labors of love based on the dysfunctional fathers of the film-makers. One is “Touching Home” with Ed Harris as an alcoholic father of twin sons who struggles with addictions and homelessness. The other is “Daddy Longlegs,” the story of a mentally unstable father of two young boys played by Ronald Bronstein.

Both films were made by a pair of brothers about their own fathers. “Daddy Longlegs” was written, edited, and directed by Josh and Benny Safdie; Josh was also co-cinematographer. Identical twins Logan and Noah Miller wrote, produced, and directed “Touching Home” and play themselves. They have described in interviews the improbable process that took them from writing a script to insisting that Ed Harris read it because he was the only one who could play the part to assembling a team of Oscar-nominated and award-winning crew.

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Ambushing Ed Harris “Touching Home” movie

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Both films are frank and unsentimental but made from a spirit of understanding and forgiveness, touching in part because the telling of the stories seems to be a part of the healing process. I love the way these two sets of brothers were so passionate about telling their fathers’ stories and I love the way Harris and Bronstein paid them and their fathers the respect of telling the stories with compassion but without compromise. I hope both films get a broader release and I hope that right now other sons and daughters are writing scripts and pestering actors to share their own stories.

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