The Hidden Spring Unclassified 15+
Divided by 4000 kilometres, a son and his dying father connect in this profoundly intimate documentary debut.
In Perth, a father is on the precipice of death. In Sydney, his son picks up a camera to process his grief. Shot in the terrace home of writer/director Jason Di Rosso – best known as host of ABC Radio National’s The Screen Show – this essay film becomes a way of bridging not just physical distance but also the emotional and philosophical breach between two worldviews. Di Rosso’s father, an adherent of alternative spirituality and an architect well practised in constructing reality, believes he can heal his terminal illness himself.
After two decades of reviewing, The Hidden Spring sees one of Australia’s foremost critics return to his roots in film and television production; Di Rosso’s impressive screen literacy is evident in its beautiful cinematography, smart pacing and sophisticated cinematic language. This deeply personal work joins the ranks of Chantal Akerman’s No Home Movie (MIFF 2016), Laurie Anderson’s Heart of a Dog (MIFF 2016) and Margot Nash’s The Silences (MIFF 2015), all of which have shown the genre’s unique capacity to examine grief. In keeping with the essay’s wandering spirit, Di Rosso also digresses into incisive meditations on time, memory, history, family, architecture and even subjectivity itself.
Director Jason Di Rosso will be in attendance for the screenings on Tuesday 8 and Friday 11 August.