Me and My Dad 24mins 31secs
Me and My Dad is documentary short film directed by Penelope Jagassar, Trinidadian born director currently residing in the United Kingdom. In summation, the documentary revolves around Jagassar’s relationship with her estranged father, widely acclaimed Patrick Jagessar, who was the youngest magistrate to be sworn in in Trinidad and Tobago at the age of 29. Patrick Jagessar was sentenced to 19 years in prison when Penelope was just 17 years old for accepting bribe under the court of law. After her father’s arrest, Penelope emigrated to the United Kingdom where in her early years she experienced a life of hardship, even being homeless at some points.
This documentary is a rather personal one, whereby Penelope candidly expresses her disappointment in her father and how their strained relationship affected her life development. I particularly enjoyed how personal this documentary was, nothing was held back, tears were shed by both parties as well as words of displeasure. The true bond they share or lack there of was clearly represented throughout and proved to be a therapeutic experience for both parties as the documentary concluded and they came to their respective resolves.
What I found interesting was the almost experimental approach the documentary took in terms of cinematography. Subjects were eerily lit with many shadows being cast and the documentary was stamped with somewhat of a sepia filter throughout. I believe because of this, a somber tone was set, which reflected the relationship between the two main subjects and the turmoil they were both attempting to overcome. The experimental approach also was seen in the way in which the footage was edited. There were overlapping frames, some instances where the footage was blurry or intentionally shaky and even at times kilted. The music which accompanied the documentary also heightened the mood as it was rather dramatic and once again, eerie throughout.
This documentary pretty much satisfied the interview driven mode of film making, whereby aside from Patrick, who was interviewed by Penelope and would sometimes ask Penelope questions as well, there were instances where friends of Penelope would share their experience about how Penelope would evade questions about her dad and how they presumed she was affected by his absence. Penelope also narrated some parts of the documentary. Oddly enough, Penelope’s mother was never mentioned in the documentary nor did she appear in it. I would have liked to hear point of view about the situation, unless she probably was not alive to tell the tale.
All in all, this documentary was beautifully executed and definitely evoked emotions from me and I would definitely watch it again with the same level of engagement.