"An aptly titled work in every sense, this sui generis piece is by turns an essay film in the tradition of Chris Marker (San Soleil) and Patrick Keiller (London), a documentary, and a quirky drama about loss and exile." - Leslie Felperin Essential viewing.
There is something wonderfully natural and honest in how this film is written and told. Scene to scene, the role that the voice actors take, filling the position of the two directors, welcomes the viewer far more into the film. More into the story that they could create with the general biopic. Capturing the introspection of the figure of Ambrose and paralleling his journeying to another family tale only adds to it.
What a wonderful film. Actually, a documentary that is not a documentary, but many other things. It is ostensibly a documentary about the process for making a bio-pic, but it is at the same time a very self-aware meta-narrative, looking at self-identity, transformation, human will, dreams & desires. It is set in the present, the life of a filmmaker's dead mother & 250 years ago. Beautiful to look at, landscape aware.
Appropriately took me time to settle. Made peace with never truly landing. It reminded me of 'A Cock and Bull Story', but far less obnoxiously smug, far more generous in spirit. I kept thinking that Alan Howley sounded like Mark Cousins though, which I found inexplicably funny.
Hauntingly beautiful and surprising by turns, this fascinating documentary draws on Barthes and Walter Benjamin to explore the incredible histories of Ambrose O'Higgins and Helen who might be the mother of one of the film makers. Sounds serious; it is is serious in purpose and wryly funny at the same time. Watch it.