Berlinale: Programme

Film file


Vaters Garten - Die Liebe meiner Eltern

Father's Garden - The Love of My Parents

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The father tends his large garden with the utmost precision. The mother irons shirts and regrets that the father never wears T-shirts. The father likes order, always knows best, and has everything under control. The mother prays and talks of her loneliness. The two are fundamentally different, have opposing views and interests, and have been married for 62 years.
Closely knit yet poles apart: this is the ambivalent standpoint from which Peter Liechti turns his lens on his elderly parents and the story of their marriage. Alongside conversations that shift from slapstick to insanity and observations of daily life in his parents’ cramped, lower middle class apartment, a puppet theatre is also established as a second location. This forms the stage for scenes between mother and father to be reenacted by rabbit puppets; as a puppet, the son can also react in explosive fashion. Wild sound effects and music provide an additional level of commentary, generating disorder, disharmony, and distance. Drawing on specific biographies, this deeply personal film transcends the private to convey the tenor of life and sense of self of a generation from a bygone era: unsentimental yet full of empathy.

Switzerland 2013, 93 min


Peter Liechti