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FIRST COUSIN ONCE REMOVED

USA, 2012 (MIFF 2013, Documentaries)

Director: Alan Berliner

"A fascinatingly fractured glimpse into a disengaged mind … quite unlike any documentary seen before." – Variety

Edwin Honig was a prominent literary critic and university professor as well as a distinguished poet and translator (he was knighted in Portugal for his literary translation work). First Cousin Once Removed sees Honig's relative, documentarian Alan Berliner, chronicle the final five years of this great intellect and master of language as he is undone in the grip of Alzheimer's disease. Charting his degeneration through conversations and observation, Berliner's interest is twofold: to explore the intimate impact of the debilitating condition, and to create a record of his cousin's life and legacy.

In a portrait that demonstrates Honig's inspirational attributes but never shies away from his interpersonal failings, First Cousin Once Removed unravels as a challenging ode to the fragility of humanity. Unassuming in its small scale but immersive in its devastating scope, this compassionate and contemplative feature won best film at IDFA 2012.

"Devastating and philosophical … [Berliner's] crowning achievement." – Indiewire

D/P Alan Berliner WS HBO L English TD HD Cam/2012

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