Juan Ignacio Fernández Hoppe was just eight years old when his father’s body was found on a beach. His mother, a psychiatrist, decided an autopsy was unnecessary, even though his father had been depressed and had psychiatric medication among his belongings. Thirty years later, the filmmaker tries to find out what happened, who his father was and how his mother arrived at her decision.
Hoppe’s parents separated when he was four, and he remembers little of his father; he uses a blank white backdrop for his first interviews with family members, and photographs and other personal items are similarly presented as isolated objects.
The filmmaker seizes on every possible lead to add detail to the picture of his father, including calling up his father’s former pupils and colleagues at the vocational school where he was a music therapist. Some don’t remember him, but he really meant a lot to two of the men, leaving a lasting impression. It’s a film about loss, depression and love, as well as an exploration of what a person’s tangible legacy can be, and how difficult that is to capture.