Over My Dad’s Body

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 – 7:30pm
Israel 2007. Director: Taliya Finkel

VANCOUVER PREMIERE  |  When filmmaker Taliya Finkel was young, she never knew for sure whether her Uncle Sterik was an impostor or a true member of the family. Her father claimed his real brother had been murdered in a Ukrainian prison — and that the KGB had stolen his identity and sent a substitute to Israel. Taliya’s father suffered from schizophrenia, but he presented his unlikely claims in such a way that his daughter believed they might have validity.  As her father often said, “Even if I am schizophrenic, it doesn’t mean that what I’m saying isn’t true.” Taliya grew up ashamed of her father’s strange behaviour, and wanted more than anything for him to be “normal.” Five years after her father’s tragic death, 29-year-old Taliya sets out attempt to resolve the mystery around his claims. Guided by a private investigator, she travels from Israel to the Ukraine in search of proof that might corroborate the strange tale. Her journey ultimately becomes one of acceptance, as she struggles to confront the difficult memories, shame, guilt and, ultimately, love that are all hopelessly entangled in her feelings for her father. Colour, Beta SP video, in Hebrew, Russian and Ukrainian with English subtitles. 70 mins.

Cosponsored by the Vancouver Jewish Film Festival Society.

Post-screening discussion with Dr. Todd Woodward, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, and Research Scientist, BC Mental Health & Addictions Research Institute. The objective of Dr. Woodward’s research program is to gain a functional and anatomical understanding of the brain systems that underlie the primary symptoms of psychosis and schizophrenia.

Film website and trailer: