Deckert Acquires Visions du Reel Contest Title “A Holy Family”

The German Deckert distribution has acquired the international rights for the second feature film “A Holy Family” by Taiwanese filmmaker Elvis A-Liang Lu, which celebrated its world premiere in the international competition section of Visions du Réel.

The film is a homecoming story about the director returning to his village in Taiwan after a 24-year absence. His older brother is a psychic who offers careers guidance to the villagers but fails with his own entrepreneurial ventures as a farmer, and his father is a gambling addict with poor health.

The one who holds the family together is his mother, a wayward woman who worries about the future and finds solace in a stream of religious rituals at the Taoist altar in her home.

The previously estranged family, where love and resentment intertwine and surface, slowly comes closer through A-Liang’s lens in an intimate portrait of rekindled family ties and a story of self-discovery through filmmaking.

“The main theme of the film is our attempt to better understand each other, grow closer and improve family relationship,” said A-Liang, who explained how he was asked to return home from Taipei after receiving a phone call from his mother asked him to arrange a photograph for her funeral.

The request awakened something deep within him. “I understood that she was preparing for death. I suddenly felt like I wasn’t ready to lose her and realized I didn’t have much time left to face the family issues that had dogged me for so long. I decided to return home and film our daily life like a family video we never had,” said A-Liang, who returned home regularly with his camera for the next three years.

What emerges is an unexpected and deeply moving family portrait of the filmmaker, who explains how the trial eased the feelings of anger and emptiness that he had harbored for so long.

“In the beginning, I wanted to confront them with all the questions I had about how absurd their lives were and blame them for what they had done to themselves and to me. But slowly I realized that I should try to find a way to communicate with my family instead,” he said. “I wanted to share this changed perception with the audience. Coming back to my family was complicated, but somehow it also made me want to come back to myself.”

Commenting on the news, Liselot Verbrugge, CEO of Deckert Distribution said: “’A Holy Family’ is not just the emotional, personal journey of director Elvis A-Liang Lu, it is a universal, incredibly heartwarming story of reconciliation and family bonds. Lu has really managed to balance his position as son and filmmaker in such a balanced way: with enough access to show the intimate confines of a family home, yet enough detachment to make a great film.”

A former Venice Gap Financing Market and DMZ Industry project, A Holy Family is produced by Stefano Centini for Volos Films of Taiwan and Jean-Laurent Csinidis for Films de Force Majeure of France.

The Visions du Réel winners will be announced on April 16th. The festival ends on April 17th.

https://variety.com/2022/film/global/deckert-a-holy-family-visions-du-reel-1235233148/ Deckert Acquires Visions du Reel Contest Title “A Holy Family”

Charles Jones

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