“A boy’s best friend is his mother.” But the same thing is also true for fathers. The short film ‘The Death of My Father‘ is far from a Hitchcockian thriller, although many of you will notice some affinities with the famous “Psycho”. In fact, Lex Kimbrough creates in this project an extreme psychological drama camouflaged behind a seemingly comic or absurd interface. The theme of the family and, implicitly, of the interdependence of its members, becomes here the main core which, in the director’s perspective, is halfway between tenderness and anomaly. It is this interesting combination between emotional contrasts and a domestic tragedy, between everyday “ritual” gestures and the protagonist’s inability to confront concrete reality, that manages to really prove the strength of the project. This is because the short film not only defies pre-established patterns of conventional realism, but also shatters the viewer’s comfort.
When a man refuses to accept a tragedy, he tries to create a simulacrum of normality, so that his “normal” existence can continue. But until when? What is the best time to realize that no one can resist the vagaries of life? Beyond the light, cosy interface of a domestic universe, beyond the painful reality that the viewer instinctively tends not to perceive as it is, we discover a complex psychological male portrait, overwhelmed by pure anguish – the despair of having lost his purpose in life or the fear of truly making his own choices. The formula proposed by Lex Kimbrough is intense, provocative, cynical and, at the same time, extraordinarily sensitive, as if Salinger were rewriting one of Faulkner’s most gore texts. Of course, the great quality of the short film lies not only in the psychological magnitude of the script, but also in the excellent work of the director and his team who compose with impressive talent this evasive foray through the troubled mind of a son refusing to grow up. Between psychological drama with Freudian accents and a slice of both touching and terrifying domestic realism, ‘The Death of My Father’ is an admirable short film that we are more than happy to have hosted and awarded in our festival.
For its provocative and shocking narrative, for the emotional complexity of the characters and for the finesse of its cinematic language, ‘The Death of My Father’ was awarded with the Film of the Month distinction in the March 2021 edition of TMFF.