It's the 1920's. The Hermans - Harry Herman, his wife Annie Herman née Elias, their adolescent son David Herman, and Annie's father - are a Jewish family living in a small flat in the working class Jewish neighborhood of Montréal (in Canada). David loves his "Zaida" (grandfather) with who he spends most Sundays driving around in their horse drawn wagon collecting junk - namely "rags, clothes, bottles" - to earn money. David also loves hearing his Zaida's stories about their Jewish culture, although most of those stories are made up and not based based on religious Jewish beliefs. Those stories are only one bone of contention between religious Zaida and secular Harry, as modern thinking Harry feels the stories are old fashioned hogwash and provide David with no grounding in what is real in life. Another issue of contention is money, as Harry is always dreaming of get rich schemes - the latest being to manufacture permanently creased and thus iron-less trousers - for which Zaida will ...Written by
Interesting concept; problems "lie" in the execution
It's easy to see why people say they hate Canadian movies when you see a film like Lies My Father Told Me. This goes back to the infancy of Canadian cinema, and there's been a huge improvement in Canadian film over the last two decades. It's actually not a bad film; the problem is, Lies My Father Told Me is not for every taste. No Indiana Jones, the family drama about Montreal Jews will turn away most of the audience. And, the audience that stays will notice the flaws and end up divided too.
Lies My Father Told Me starts off promisingly; it looks like an interesting coming-of-age story, though by the end when we realize the climactic battle is over moving a stable, the feeling of dullness sets in. Even before then, the performances are sorely lacking, particularly in the boy who can only shout out excitedly, the father who can't rage right, and the young prostitute ("Kiss my Royal Canadian ***!") The grandfather's song about the Messiah coming is excruciating and feels out of place (By this point of time, we weren't excepting a musical, and the end credit song is nails on a chalkboard as well). For the Montreal Jew story in 1970s cinema, it's no wonder critics preferred The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz.
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