Mr. Rakowski

Polish-born Sam Rakowski and his wife survived Auschwitz-Birkenau and immigrated to the United States. They had two children, the first of whom died at a young age, while the second son, Richie, is now a successful businessman. Since the death of his wife, Sam has occupied a small house on Richie's upscale Connecticut estate. Despite their awkward relationship, Richie provides his father with the best possible care. Both men are traumatised, Sam because of the war and his first son's death, Richie on account of a childhood marked by his detached and sometimes aggressive father. Separate interviews reveal how serious the lack of communication between the two is, and how badly Richie wants to understand his father. As a result, Richie goes through an arduous process in an attempt to redefine his view of his father. The camera acts like a vigilant mediator, enabling a painful process of communication between them. This is a fascinating and touching portrait of a father and a son, with the camera as a psychoanalytical medium, - an unexpectedly optimistic film.

“In the wrenching Mr. Rakowski, Dutch filmmaker Jan Diederen almost seems to have been hired to mediate between father and son to bring about a reconciliation. ….” : Nora Lee Mandel FILM-FORWARD
"... captures the remarkable transformation of a relationship and the healing of two souls." : New York Jewish Film Festival
"... A hard emotional journey that is worth every second.": Sheffield Doc/Fest

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