The story of Julia Zagar and her husband Isaiah, a renowned mosaic artist, who for the past 30 years has covered more than 40,000 square feet of Philadelphia top to bottom with tile, mirror, paint, and concrete.
Over the past four decades, artist Isaiah Zagar has covered more than 50,000 square feet of Philadelphia with stunning mosaic murals. In A Dream is a documentary feature film that chronicles his work and his tumultuous relationship with his wife, Julia. It follows the Zagars as their marriage implodes and a harrowing new chapter in their life unfolds. An exploration of the fallout that ensues when the line between art and life is blurred beyond distinction. Written by
The beautiful film, In A Dream, had its World Premiere this week at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX. Most of the time documentary film makers tell other people's stories. They tell stories that they may care about, but not ones that go to the core their personal lives. Jeremiah Zagar has made this film that reveals some of the most painful stories of his father, the artist Isaiah Zagar, his mother, Julia, and his brother, Zeke. He spent years filming his own family and now presents their agonizing and painful story for the world to see. He doesn't run away from issues of infidelity, mental illness, molestation, and addiction that most people would prefer to keep secret. Instead, he presents all of these struggles to the world to see in a way that is honest, personal, and often difficult to watch.
He also presents his father's beautiful mosaic artwork for the world to see. His father is truly a great artist and his work and the price that his family has paid for him to do his work is truly remarkable. This is certainly a film that will fascinate those who love art, but one can be an artistic ignoramus - like this writer - and still be overpowered by the story of Zagar family and the beauty of Isaiah's artwork. As much as this film is the story of an artist, it is also the story of power of family to face and overcome difficult challenges and survive. It is an example of the idea that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
The family's presence at the SXSW showing was also an honor since it was clear how much they supported the project as painful as it must have been to see some of it laid bare for the world to see. It was beautiful to hear Isaiah congratulate his son, Jeremy, from one artist to another.
I hope this film gets some distribution to a wider audience since a lot of people will be moved by the story of the Zagar family.
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