‘Marianne Hertz: Model and Perfect Mother’. This is how filmmaker Tom Fassaert’s grandmother was presented in a 1950s magazine. His father, uncle and aunt smile awkwardly when he makes them read it out loud: their childhood was far from perfect. Her two sons ended up in a children’s home at a young age, and the relationship with their now 95-year-old mother remains troubled. Not long after his father broke off all contact with her, Marianne invites Fassaert to visit her in South Africa, where she started a new life years ago. He accepts and takes his camera, hoping to find the missing pieces in the family history. But while Marianne eagerly embraces his interest in her, she refuses to discuss ‘that family affair’. While Tom tries to unravel her façade, he becomes deeper and deeper intertwined with his own family history.
Presented by Open City Documentary Festival, EUNIC London and Embassy of the Netherlands in the United Kingdom.