The dramatic natural beauty of New Zealand has proved itself in recent years in films from The Piano to The Lord of The Rings. Brad McGann also made suitable use of the colours of his home country in the family drama In My Father's Den. Fresh green tones gradually fade to darker colours in this confrontation between a man and his past. War correspondent Paul Prior returns after 17 years to his place of birth for the funeral of his father. The reunion with his brother and sister-in-law is uneasy, but he does manage to get along with the younger Celia, the daughter of his first girlfriend. With restraint, McGann turns up the tension of the original book by Maurice Gee (1972) when Celia suddenly disappears. Accusing fingers all point to Paul, who starts his own investigation and has to dig deep into the past. What he finds there goes much further than the secret hiding place where his father used to enjoy books, music and wine. He is confronted with the grim circumstances surrounding the death of his mother and comes across an old and dark family secret. With a subtle feeling for atmosphere, McGann builds up his feature début into a cunning thriller with a surprising plot. The acting work is powerful, certainly that of Emily Barclay, who investigates the psychological extremities of her role as Celia. (SdH)

Filmmaker
Brad McGann
Premiere
-
Country
New Zealand, United Kingdom
Year
2004
Medium
35mm
Length
126’
Language
English
Producer
T.H.E. Film, Dixie Linder, Little Bird, Trevor Haysom
Sales
Element X
Writer
Brad McGann
Website
http://ww.inmyfathersden.com