On 23 October 2000, immediately after the birth of his nephew Mateo, Gastón Solnicki started filming his relatives. Mateo is the first grandchild of Gastón’s father Victor, a sweet, generous but also rather dominant pater familias. The strong bond between grandfather and grandson forms the main theme in the fragmentary family portrait Papirosen, which portrays four generations of Solnickis, all encumbered - and occasionally imprisoned - by the past.
Grandmother Pola and grandfather Janek, born in Poland, lost many of their relatives in Hitler’s concentration camps. After the war, they ended up via Prague in Argentina, where the family was financially successful.
For 10 years, the director continued to follow his parents and the family of his sister as it fell apart, despite regular protests. The result is a surprisingly open-hearted and moving film that, thanks to the daring editing and the beautiful, sometimes impressionistic camerawork, transcends the genre of the autobiographical documentary.