No.16 AFW+NFSA  Z to A: Su Friedrich's Ties that Bind Sink or Swim

Final Screening for 2015

Thursday 10th December – 7.30pm start




Ties that Bind (Su Friedrich) 1984, 16mm, B&W, 55 mins

The Ties That Bind is an experimental documentary about the filmmaker's mother, who was born and lived in southern Germany from 1920-1950. Through a mixture of personal anecdote and social history, she describes the rise of Nazism, the war years, and the Allied occupation, during which she met her future husband, an American soldier. The film creates a powerful dialogue between past and present, between mother and daughter. But it is more than an interview of a mother by a daughter—it is a profound search for a definition of history, and a challenge to our own responsibility for the present.

Sink or Swim (Su Friedrich) 1990, 16mm, B&W, 48 mins

Through a series of twenty six short stories, a girl describes the childhood events that shaped her ideas about fatherhood, family relations, work and play. As the stories unfold, a dual portrait emerges: that of a father who cared more for his career than for his family, and of a daughter who was deeply affected by his behavior. Working in counterpoint to the forceful text are sensual black and white images that depict both the extraordinary and ordinary events of daily life. Together, they create a formally complex and emotionally intense film.