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Paternal Rites

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12:00 PM

TIFF Bell Lightbox - Cinema 1
350 King Street West
Toronto, ON

There are actions that can never be forgiven just as there are inactions that are equally unforgivable. Paternal Rites, a searing, personal experimental essay film by Trans filmmaker Jules Rosskam, sensitively examines how histories of abuse can haunt a family long after the perpetrator has died.

In 1974, Rosskam’s parents set out on a four-month cross-country road trip. In 2013, Rosskam and his partner Alex retraced this trip in an effort to understand the complex dynamics of his dysfunctional family. Footage from the trip is interspersed with home movies, animation, and audio from interviews with Rosskam’s parents and partner. In these startlingly intimate dialogues, Jules tries to reconnect with his parents despite their inadequate responses to his trauma.

Paternal Rites is a thoughtful and nuanced examination of the aftermath of abuse.

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