Tell Them Who You Are (2004)

[rating:4/5]

For a while, it’s fun watching legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler berate his son Mark, who has turned the camera on his father. After the thrill of that gets old, you’re pulled into the father-son dynamic.

Starring: Peter Bart, Verna Bloom Director: Mark Wexler

Plot Synopsis: Mark Wexler’s cinematic blend of biography and autobiography centers on his relationship with his father, legendary Oscar-winning cinematographer and filmmaker Haskell Wexler, whose long and illustrious career is a virtual catalogue of 20th-century classics. Haskell’s collaborations with such world-class filmmakers as Elia Kazan, Milos Forman, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola and Mike Nichols include such works as WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, AMERICAN GRAFFITI, COMING HOME, BOUND FOR GLORY and ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST. The film features interviews with many of these artists, along with such luminaries as Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas and Sidney Poitier. But the true “star” of TELL THEM WHO YOU ARE is Haskell himself, a controversial, larger-than-life character who challenges his son’s filmmaking skills while announcing with complete conviction that he could have done a better job directing most of the movies he’s shot. As these two men swap positions on camera and behind it – sometimes shooting one another simultaneously – the film looks with honesty and compassion at their attempts to reconcile before it’s too late.

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