Filmmaker Lynne Sachs has shot 8 and 16 mm films, videotape and digital images with her famous filmmaking father, Ira Sachs over a period of thirty-five years, between the years of 1984 - 2019. Lynne describes her father as a bohemian businessman from Park City, Utah. In her documentary A Film About A Father Who Lynne takes her audience on a very personal journey and discovers more about her father than she had ever hoped to reveal.
One fascinating discovery is that while Ira seemed to be a figure that appeared to be in the center of the frame so to speak (meaning always there and very public) he harbored many secrets. Lynne described these as "ensconced". This would make sense of the life of a bohemian. If one adds businessman to the title, then it's possible to assume that secrets will abound.
No matter how many times Lynne tried to get Ira to talk about his upbringing or his past he only revealed happy memories. The unhappy ones he conventionally put in a box not to be opened.
I looked up the various definitions of Bohemian in order to better understand Ira and his life choices.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes bohemian as a native or inhabitant of Bohemia; a person such as a writer or an artist living an unconventional life usually in a colony with others; vagabond, wanderer.
Wisegeek says: A bohemian is a person who lives an artistic lifestyle, placing freedom of self-expression above all other desires, including wealth, social conformity and status. The term originated in France during the 19th century due to the influx of gypsies believed to be traveling from Bohemia in the Czech Republic. They quickly became generalized, however, and indicative of a lifestyle rather than a nationality. In the United States, the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the hippies of the '60s reflected this subculture in many ways.
Writers, artists, poets, musicians and philosophers could commonly be found leading bohemian lifestyles in 19th venture Paris. Drugs, alcohol and a freer attitude towards sexual expression were considered part of the subculture. Often lacking money, bohemians commonly found lodging in older, run down sections of town, which may have led to the perception that they were not always personally well kept. Nevertheless, the thoughtful and expressive lifestyle so free of social constraints remains a romantic notion that endures.
Wikipedia states: The term has become associated with various artistic or academic communities and is used as a generalized adjective describing such people, environs, or situations bohemian (boho-informal) is defined in The American College Dictionary as "a person with artistic or intellectual tendencies, who lives and acts with no regard for conventional rules of behavior".
I think you get the picture. Ira was a free bird and kept it that way. Lynne sets out to go deeper into her family background in an attempt to understand the connection to her roots: to her parents and to her eight siblings---some she's known all her life, others she just met--all born between 1961 and 1995.
Lynne weaves together her own recollection of her father's stories, the facts of what she does know of Ira's past and those of her siblings to create a very diverse and interesting collage of the man they all call Dad. Ira's love for women produced some of the most interesting offspring and this is revealed as each of Lynne's siblings have the chance to share their feelings and memories of Ira and the impact he had on their lives.
Lynne notes, "As an artist, I have been inspired by three relatable inventive approaches to portraiture: Heinrich Böll novel Group Portrait of a Lady; Pablo Picasso's Cubist paintings of his daughter Maya; and, Yvonne Rainer's Film about a Women Who.
Lynne's stylistic filmmaking is once again revealed in her A Film About a Father Who where she explores the dance among relationships between personal observations and broader historical experiences weaving together text, collage, painting, politics and layered sound design. In this personal journey she is able to add family home movies to show the impact of visual memories and their importance to legacy.