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TIFF Review: Beyond Words

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A Polish-born lawyer working in Berlin begins to question his life with the arrival of his long-lost father.

A wealthy young lawyer is reluctant to take on the case of an immigrant seeking refugee status; complicating matters is the appearance of his transient and absentee father.  Father and son are polar opposites of each other with the former looking like an unmade bed and the latter someone who just stepped out of a Vogue fashion shoot.

Black and white films are great to watch especially with a filmmaker such as Urszula Antoniak who has a great understanding of light, shadows and contrast.  The imagery is slick with each shot feeling like it has been framed by a still camera for a magazine layout.

The style seems to overshadow the substance.  A dominant theme is how immigrants are never fully integrated and accepted as those who have been born in the country in which they live.  I wish the focus had been entirely placed on the father and son relationship as the refugee claim story simply serves as a thematic bookend that does not have the same emotional depth.

Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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