One of our favorites from last year’s Locarno Film Festival, where it picked up the Boccalino d’Oro for Best Director, Lucy Kerr’s directorial debut Family Portrait finds Deragh Campbell searching for the family matriarch in an elusive portrait that has drawn comparisons to the films of Antonioni. Now picked up by Factory 25 for a June 28 release beginning at Metrograph, the first trailer and poster have arrived.

Here’s the synopsis: “Set at the dawn of Covid, FAMILY PORTRAIT follows a sprawling family gathering to take a group picture as Katy (Deragh Campbell, Kazik Radwanski’s ANNE AT 13,000 FT., Nathan Silver’s STINKING HEAVEN) searches for the matriarch that can’t be found, desperately weaving from one family member to the next. Beginning on an idealistic summer day, the film progressively descends into a realm where time and space lose their grip, transforming the family portrait into a solemn and enigmatic ritual of transition. The feature teases the line between non-fiction and narrative filmmaking, using intimate Steadicam cinematography, intentionally daunting sound design, and an all-enveloping mounting frenetic energy to create a wholly unique and emotionally powerful cinematic tableau.”

Savina Petkova said in her review, “Family Portrait deals with inexplicable loss, but one that is contained, repressed, inarticulate. If Katy has not literally lost her mother, the absence is strong enough to become the film’s driving force. But what keeps creeping up in conversation is the actual loss of a relative to an unknown virus. Without exposing too much of the COVID reality that gripped the whole world not so long ago, Kerr alludes to the fact that we still haven’t learned how to talk about such traumatic passings. What’s omitted is also left offscreen, sharing is a whisper, mutuality is hard to reach. If the photographic medium fascinates us by giving reality its own image––one that’s separate from reality––cinema re-animates its stasis and shows us life in flux.”

See the trailer below.

Family Portrait opens on June 28 at Metrograph and will expand.

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