Two estranged sisters, separated for years, reunite at a remote family lodge in anticipation of their father's arrival. As their idle conversation develops, dormant and traumatic family secrets emerge which reveal the complexity of abusive family interactions where victims do not always perceive the perpetrators as predators.
‘Dad’ came to me in 2016 following a screening of Bergman’s ‘Persona’ and the entire script materialised in a week. It naturally came to me as a conversational piece as the most vivid scenes are those expressed in words because they work on our imagination, which we use to piece together our own vision of the story being told. The protagonists in ‘Persona’, as with ‘Dad’, speak candidly about their traumas and through them we can experience cinema as catharsis - this is why I made ‘Dad’.
The inspiration for ‘Dad’ came from real-life stories of sexual abuse and trauma that have been told to me by the victims. Their feelings were often confused because they did not always paint the perpetrators as predators. Often, they were family members and in a few cases they were their father. These stories are not often told because of the shame and fear the victims of sexual abuse may feel but they are very real. Around the time I was developing ‘Dad’, survivors started coming out and speaking up.
I always felt I had been called upon to make ‘Dad’ and now it had become clear why. ‘Dad’ was shot by a cinematographer with whom it felt as though her and I saw through the same eyes, alongside a female-majority crew. They enabled Maša, Brianna and I to empathetically approach the film’s difficult subject matter. I hope it is cathartic for those who suffer in silence yet cannot bear to separate themselves from their abuser.