SYNOPSIS.

Currently in post-production, Paternal Rites is a first-person essay film that explores the extraordinary and quotidian trauma of being in a family. Recreating a cross-country trip my parents took in 1974, Paternal Rites uses static shots of the American landscape, travelogue footage recorded on Super 8, hand-drawn 16MM film animations, along with audio-diaries kept by my parents during their trip and present-day audio interviews in order to explore the history of addiction, abuse, and mental illness on the paternal side of my family. 

In Paternal Rites, the past is revisited not to place blame, but rather so that we may take more thorough account of ourselves. Paternal Rites is a story about the challenge of getting the story, a story in which reaching for the past disrupts the present and invites an unexpected future.