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12 January 2022

Happy Families

by Syd Briscoe

Aldi: “Ben” - 3 mins 08s

A father and son reach a new level of understanding in this touching German film for Aldi. Their fraught relationship is sketched in broad strokes by director Alex Kühn, who takes care to ensure the audience feels the intense pressure the father is under - a deceased wife, a stressful job, and a son who resents him for both.

It's a snapshot of the issues which come to a head for many families at Christmas, which can be a highly stressful time of year even for the happiest and healthiest clans. VHS-style flashbacks to more peaceful times only emphasise the extent to which the pair have reached an emotional nadir.

It makes their tentative reunion all the more poignant, as the son brings his father Christmas dinner at work as a peace offering. Sincere performances from both actors ensure that their smiles feel well-earned by the end of the film, giving viewers hope that the two will manage to muddle through after all.

Cinematographer: Mortimer Hochberg
Editor: Ben Jordan Ⓦ (Work Ⓟ Ⓦ) / André Gelhaar
Colourist: Marina Starke ♀

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