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The Flowers of my Family Juan Ignacio Fernández Hoppe

An adult daughter wants to move her mother out of the shared apartment to start her own life. Urgent questions of responsibility, guilt, and the right to individuality.

The Flowers of my Family

Documentary Film
2012
75 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Juan Ignacio Fernández Hoppe, Hoppefilms
Juan Ignacio Fernández Hoppe
Bach and Mozart by Cristina García Banegas and DeProfundis choir
Juan Ignacio Fernández Hoppe
Juan Ignacio Fernández Hoppe, Guillermo Rocamora
Juan Ignacio Fernández Hoppe
Daniel Yafalian
There are moments in life when we have to take decisions that will have a deep impact on the lives of the people close to us. This is the situation the director’s mother Alicia finds herself in when a new relationship makes her decide to move her mother Nivia from their shared apartment to a new home. The two women’s daily symbiosis gradually turns into a simmering conflict warily observed by grandson and filmmaker Juan. At first grandmother Nivia sticks to her old habits: she takes care of her plants and the pigeons on the balcony and philosophises about the nature of human existence. The longer it takes to find a suitable home for her, the stronger the tensions between the two women grow. Both mother and grandmother occasionally try to draw their son and grandson behind the camera into the conflict and make him their ally. But Juan Ignacio Fernández manages not to transgress the invisible boundary between filmmaker and family member. He remains a highly sensitive silent witness who captures the intimacy of the family and the process of separation in quiet images. What seems like a film about a family affair at first glance achieves a universal quality through the daughter’s painful process of disengagement and the issues of responsibility, guilt and the right to individual freedom raised by it.

– Paulo de Carvalho

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