On September 16, Dutch filmmaker Tom Fassaert’s film ‘A Family Affair’ will open in Cinema Village, New York, and in Laemmle’s Music Hall, LA.
On his 30th birthday, Tom Fassaert receives a mysterious invitation from his 95-year-old grandmother Marianne. Out of the blue she asks him to come to South Africa to help her with her will. At that time the only thing he knows about her are the myths and predominantly negative stories his father told him. She was a femme fatale who went through countless men, while working as a professional model in the 1950s. She put her two sons into an orphanage and suddenly decided to emigrate to South Africa, far away from the rest of her family. Fassaert decides to accept her invitation, bringing his camera along for the journey. Through his lens we discover what lies behind persistent myths and we find out why she still has such a huge influence on the family. However, when his grandmother’s obsessive tendencies turn to Fassaert himself, his venture becomes much more complicated than he could ever have imagined.
The Hollywood Reporter praises Fassaert’s work as ‘a fascinating family history as enigmatic as it is revealing’ and also admires Claudio Hughes’ editing through which ‘audiences will get a good sense of the personalities in the doc’. On a similar note Variety applauds the ‘alternately elusive and stunningly candid’ film by pointing out that ‘it’s the sheer unpredictable perversity of human nature that takes the breath away at key points in Fassaert’s unsettling, perhaps unsolvable inquiry’.
About Tom Fassaert
Dutch filmmaker Tom Fassaert (1979) graduated from the Dutch Film Academy in 2006 and has won several international awards for his debut feature length documentary ‘De engel van Doel’ that was screened at more than forty festivals worldwide.