How can you miss someone you’ve never met?
Questions and quests involving estranged family members have recently inspired many fine documentaries, and Family is one of the finest.This nimble, expressive film beautifully captures both the weighty obligation and the sweet lightness of family lost and regained. Following the death of his mother and the tragic loss of his brother, Danish filmmaker Sami Saif and co-director and cinematographer Phie Ambo (also Saif ‘s partner at the time) decide to search for Sami’s father,who abandoned his family when Sami was a child.The storytelling here is terrific, suspenseful but unforced and, along with Saif and Ambo, credit must be given to Janus Billeskov Jansen, the Danish editor best known for his work on several of Bille August’s films. A film that goes beyond the classic docu genre with its humour and amazing, epic cinematography. Joris Ivens Award, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam; Bayerischer Rundfunk Documentary Prize, International Documentary Film Festival Munich Real to Reel.
(2001. Denmark. Colour. 35mm. 90mins)
Directed by: Sami Martin Saif, Phie Ambo-Nielsen
Never Forgotten
‘We’ve waited over 80 years for this,’ say the grandchildren of Thomas Traynor, as his body is finally laid to rest in a proper burial ground.This documentary tells the story of an Irish volunteer who was executed in 1921, how his wife and ten children coped after his death and how his grandchildren have tried to get close to a man they never knew.
( 2002. Ireland. Beta. 20mins)
Directed by Michelle Maher, Dublin Institute of Technology, Aungier Street.

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