Paternal Rites by Jules Rosskam
Silver Future . Weserstr. 206 . 12047 Berlin
Todd & Zoya.
Free admission with an exhibition ticket for Queerness in Photography, regardless of the day’s validity.
Tickets may be available at the box office of the venue.
First come, first served.
Paternal Rites is a first-person essay film that examines the secret underbelly of a contemporary Jewish American family as they grapple with the aftereffects of physical and sexual abuse on their present-day lives. It is also a groundbreaking film about the nature of trauma and memory itself: the ways in which trauma encrypts in uncanny ways; the function of speech and narrative in the process of decryption; and the role of film and filmmaking in the practice of healing.
In the fall of 2013 filmmaker Jules Rosskam and his partner, Alex, set out to retrace a road trip that Rosskam’s parents, Marilyn and Skip, completed in the fall of 1974. The viewer hears audio diaries that Marilyn and Skip kept during the course of their four-month journey and sees photographs and travelogue footage recorded on Super 8. Implicit throughout is the filmmaker’s queer and transgender subjectivity, which floats to the surface of the screen as the viewer is confronted with fragments of home movies of his childhood and hears audio recordings of contemporary conversations between Rosskam and Alex, who functions as Rosskam’s partner in life as well as in this project of decoding his past on screen.
Jules Rosskam is an internationally award-winning filmmaker, educator and 2021 Creative Capital Awardee. His interdisciplinary practice works to induce a perceptual shift in our understanding of what bodies mean, toward an apprehension of multiplicities. His most recent feature-length documentary, Paternal Rites (2018), premiered at MoMA’s Doc Fortnight and went on to win several festival awards.
Part of the Utopia/Dystopia event series curated by Todd & Zoya. for C/O Berlin as part of the exhibition Queerness in Photography.