This is a powerful and exquisitely-shot autobiographical portrait of loyalty, broken dreams and redemption told by its director – reluctantly-dutiful daughter Karen, who takes you under the skin of the household she returns to for this long goodbye.
Karen’s mother Ann suffers a devastating stroke that brings her daughter back home when she least expects it. But Karen isn’t the only one who returns to help care for Ann in the crisis: Her prodigal father Ian – endearing and unfathomable – and who’s been separated from Ann for years, also reappears. Armed with her camera, Karen seizes this last chance to go under the skin of the family story before it’s too late, to come to terms with the aftermath of the secret her father had tried – and failed – to keep from them all, and to find that Ann’s stroke has in fact thrown them all a life raft.
With candour, warmth and much unexpected humour, Karen’s role as family confidante, busybody, therapist and spy illuminates this extraordinary story of contemporary family survival.
– Winner, Best International Feature, HotDocs 2015