All About My Father | Chicago Reader

All About My Father

The most astonishing thing in this Norwegian film (2002), which was named best documentary at last year's Berlin film festival, isn't the fact that the filmmaker's dad—Esben Benestad, a respected surgeon—has for decades enjoyed an alternate persona called Esther Pirelli, celebrity cross-dresser and trans-rights activist. What's really amazing is the calm that director Even Benestad, his sister, and their stepmother exhibit in the face of challenges posed by Esben/Esther to their family unity and personal equanimity. The film raises intriguing questions about divided loyalties and integrated personality but loses momentum as Esben realizes Even doesn't share his agenda. In Norwegian with subtitles. 75 min.

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