Hopkins stars in heart-rending new film

The Father

THE FATHER tries to find an artistic way of presenting the way dementia affects the people around the patient – those who suffer the fall-out.

It is an inescapable fact of life that for every relationship between a parent and a child, there will come a time where the child becomes the carer and the parent the dependant. This heart-breaking yet universal theme is at the core of a touching new film.

THE FATHER, based on an acclaimed, award-winning play, starts out as a simple drama hinged on a familiar dynamic – a middle-aged daughter is losing patience with her elderly father, a mischievous and highly independent man, whose grip on reality is fading but who refuses to allow a carer to look after him. She is moving away and, to ensure her father’s safety in her absence, she must find someone who will take care of him. As he – in the early stages of dementia – tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality.

Making his debut as film director is the award-winning French playwright, Florian Zeller, who was responsible for the original play. He co-wrote the screenplay with his long-time collaborator and translator Christopher Hampton, who emphasises that while the theme may be familiar, the film is not a medical treatise. “It is not about a medical condition and the people who suffer from it,” he explains. “Instead, THE FATHER tries to find an artistic way of presenting the way dementia affects the people around the patient – those who suffer the fall-out.”

The story is deliberately told through the eyes of Anthony, the elderly father, whose life has become a source of ever-disorienting confusion, with the characters and locations constantly shifting – resulting in the viewer feeling as confused as Anthony is. It is disorienting and surreal, but it speaks volumes to living with dementia. “I didn’t want to tell the story from the outside, because it’s already been done so many times,” says Zeller. “I wanted to try to tell that story from the inside, as if the audience was in the main character’s head.”

As Zeller homes in on the theme with thoughtful direction and careful storytelling, the message he wants to convey is supported by exceptional acting. Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman masterfully portray the dementia-afflicted man and his daughter, Anne. While Colman’s expressive face registers all the emotions her character is going through, Hopkins perfectly captures the fear, frustration and anger of a man who is losing his grip on reality. As he spans the chasm between independent adult and scared child, his rich and emotive performance adds elements of both thriller and horror to the film.

Hopkins and Colman are supported by an excellent cast, including Mark Gatiss, Imogen Poots, Rufus Sewell and Olivia Williams.

Despite its dark subject matter, the film is built on a foundation of empathy and celebrates the unbreakable bond between parent and child.

Commenting on the theme, Colman says: “It is terrifying to think of your world shifting beneath your feet when you’ve lost the ability to comprehend the change. For all the complexity I think at its heart the film is very simple. It is about loss and love, and the way you suffer when the person you love no longer knows you. It is beautifully written and very moving.”

She’s right. THE FATHER is an accurate and somewhat unsettling account of both what it is like to love someone with dementia, and what it is like to live as someone with dementia, and offers a heart-rending account of what happens when a relationship, which has functioned in a certain way for decades, suddenly and irrevocably changes.

The film recently won the coveted Audience Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival, and Anthony Hopkins is slated for a Best Actor Academy Award nomination next year for his devastatingly emotive performance.

THE FATHER is distributed locally by Filmfinity Pty (Ltd.) and will be released in South African cinemas on 15 January 2021.

Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TZb7YfK-JI


PUBLICITY & MARKETING
Starburst Promotions
Alishia van Deventer
Cell: 083 635 4717
E-mail: alishia@starburstmusic.co.za
www.starburstmusic.co.za


Alishia van Deventer
alishia@starburstmusic.co.za
083 635 4717
Starburst Promotions
http://www.starburstmusic.co.za



Anthony Hopkins speel hoofrol in nuwe rolprent!

THE FATHER probeer om op ’n kunstige manier te wys hoe demensie die pasiënt se geliefdes raak, omdat hulle die uitbarstings moet hanteer.

Dit is nou maar een maal ’n feit dat daar ’n tyd kom in elkeen se lewe waar die rol van ’n kind en ouer omruil en laasgenoemde die afhanklike word, wat versorging nodig het. Hierdie hartseer realiteit is die sentrale tema van ’n splinternuwe en baie hartroerende rolprent.

THE FATHER, wat gebaseer is op ’n bekroonde toneelstuk, begin as ’n doodgewone drama en vertel die verhaal van ’n middeljarige dogter wat besig is om haar geduld te verloor met haar pa – ’n stoute, onafhanklike ou man, wat besig is om tred met realiteit te verloor en weier dat ’n versorger na hom omsien. Sy moet trek en moet daarom iemand kry om na hom om te sien. Hy, wat in die beginstadium van demensie ly, probeer sin maak van sy veranderende omstandighede en begin in sy geliefdes, verstand en realiteit twyfel.

Hierdie rolprent is die bekroonde Franse draaiboekskrywer, Florian Zeller, se eerste poging as regisseur en hy was ook verantwoordelik vir die oorspronklike toneelstuk. Hy het die draaiboek saam met sy kollega en vertaler, Christopher Hampton, geskryf wat klem lê op die feit dat hierdie nie ’n mediese verhandeling is nie. “Dit gaan nie oor ’n mediese toestand en die mens wat daaronder ly nie,” verduidelik hy. “THE FATHER probeer om eerder om op ’n kunstige manier te wys hoe demensie die pasiënt se geliefdes raak, omdat hulle die uitbarstings moet hanteer.”

Die verhaal word doelbewus vertel deur die oë van Anthony, die bejaarde pa, wie se lewe ’n bron van nimmereindige gedisoriënterende verwarring geword het, met die karakters en plekke wat voortdurend verander en daartoe lei dat die kyker so verward voel soos Anthony. Dit is disoriënterend en surrealisties, maar dit spreek boekdele oor ’n lewe met demensie. “Ek wou nie die storie van ’n buite-perspektief vertel nie, want dit is al soveel keer gedoen,” sê Zeller. “Ek wou die verhaal van binne af probeer vertel, asof die gehoor in die hoofkarakter se kop is.”

Terwyl Zeller die regie met sensitiwiteit benader en fokus op noukeurige storievertelling, word die boodskap wat hy wil oordra ondersteun deur uitsonderlike toneelspel. Anthony Hopkins en Olivia Colman beeld die demensie-geteisterde man en sy dogter, Anne, meesterlik uit. Colman se ekspressiewe gesig weerspieël al die emosies wat deur haar karakter gaan, terwyl Hopkins dit regkry om die vrees, frustrasie en woede van ’n man wat sy greep op die werklikheid verloor, perfek vas te vang. Soos wat hy die kloof tussen onafhanklike volwasse en bang kind skets, voeg sy ryk en emosionele toneelspel elemente van weerloosheid en afgryse by die film.

Hopkins en Colman word verder ondersteun deur ’n uitstaande groep akteurs, insluitend Mark Gatiss, Imogen Poots, Rufus Sewell en Olivia Williams. Ten spyte van die donker tema, is die rolprent gebou op empatie en vier dit die onbreekbare band tussen ouers en kinders.

Oor dié tema, sê Colman: “Dit is angswekkend om te dink dat die wêreld rondom jou verander en jy op ’n stadium nie meer hierdie veranderinge gaan verstaan nie. Ek dink die hart van die fliek is baie eenvoudig. Dit gaan oor liefde en verlies en hoe swaar jy kry wanneer die persoon vir wie jy lief is nie meer weet wie jy is nie. Dit is pragtig geskryf en baie emosioneel.”

Sy is reg. THE FATHER is ’n akkurate en ontstellende vertelling wat beide kante van die situasie onder die vergrootglas plaas – hoe dit voel om lief te wees vir iemand met demensie en hoe dit voel om met hierdie toestand saam te leef. Dit wys op ’n hartroerende manier wat gebeur wanneer ’n verhouding, wat al vir dekades bestaan, skielik onherroeplik verander.

Die rolprent het onlangs met die gesogte Gehoorgunsteling-toekenning weggestap by die San Sebastian-rolprentfees, en daar is reeds sprake daarvan dat Anthony Hopkins ’n Oscar-benoeming gaan ontvang vir Beste Akteur vir sy uitstaande vertolking van hierdie komplekse karakter.

THE FATHER word plaaslik versprei deur Filmfinity Edms (Bpk.) en sal vanaf 15 Januarie 2021 in Suid-Afrikaanse bioskope te sien wees.

Kyk die lokprent hier: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TZb7YfK-JI


PUBLISITEIT & BEMARKING
Starburst Promosies
Alishia van Deventer
Sel: 083 635 4717
E-pos: alishia@starburstmusic.co.za
Webblad: www.starburstmusic.co.za


Alishia van Deventer
alishia@starburstmusic.co.za
083 635 4717
Starburst Promotions
http://www.starburstmusic.co.za