Must Read After My Death Directed by: Morgan Dews Starring: Allis, Charley, Anne, Chuck, Bruce, Douglas Running Time: 1 hour 16 mins Rated: Not rated Additional info: The film is opening digitally outside of New York and LA. Everyone can access the film for digital viewing at www.giganticdigital.com beginning this Friday morning, February 20th at 10am Eastern. The ticket price will be $2.99 for a 3-day, unlimited viewing ticket. It will be streaming in HD quality.
Plot: This documentary focuses on a family in the 1950s and 1960s. Dews discovered his grandparents had a pile of audio tape and home movies, and he constructs this film to dissect the lives he didn't know.
Who's it For? Voyeurism might be the key here. This is a behind the scenes look at a dysfunctional family from a different time. If you can get past the dated footage and mandatory sub-titles, you'll be hooked.
At first, it seems Must Read After My Death is a found love letter to a couple that leaves apart for four months out of the year. It didn't hook me because I haven't been a military man, father or even lived far away from my wife, so I didn't know what connection I could have to this documentary. But Dews discovered 50 hours of audio tapes and 201 home movies, so there's much more to this film, with dysfunction being front and center.
Charley drinks and yells, Allis has an independent mind mixed with the desire to be a mother. It's almost like this documentary could accompany Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road. The tapes eventually become therapy sessions and the kids are roped in.
It's fascinating to have this record of an ordinary dysfunctional life, but it is entertaining? The fact that all the footage is 40 to 50 years old hurts. The subtitles are there to help you through the mangled audio, and the video sequences don't seem to let us in enough to the story that is being told.
If you grew up with any hint of stress in your family life, you will find a connection to this film that won't soon leave you.
Final Score: 6/10