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Genesis

„How was Christmas?“
„Hmm, as always. Ate a lot, family and all of that. And yours?”
„Exhausting.“

This small talk was the beginning of everything. But what do we really know about the rituals, habits, roles and conflicts in our friends’ families?

We filmmakers were soon agreed: documentary making doesn’t necessarily mean going to far away, foreign places. We dared to film our own families as one person teams. We chose the only fixed family date: Christmas eve. To document the family and to be oneself part of this family– we considered this dual role to be a particular challenge. Our goal was as participating observers to question what seems so familiar and thereby to define our own positions.
We, the 30 something filmmakers, have found as we grow older, that the yearly return to our parents home can be both familiar and at the same time disconcerting. Familiar because Christmas is always the same, because nothing much changes in the familiar rituals, topics of conversation and conflicts. Disconcerting, because in our growing up and leaving our parents’ home we have changed our perspective of this ‘home’. In filming our parents, siblings and relatives we get insight into ourselves.

Matthias Luthardt