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When Jimmy (Vincent Gallo) discovers that the father he thought was dead is alive somewhere in Lisbon, he makes the transatlantic trip but does not find what he expected. Robert Kramer’s aching 1987 film presents a portrait of disillusionment in Jimmy’s father, aka Doc (Paul McIsaac), a political activist who has seen (and once hoped for) better days. The New York–born Kramer (who died too early at age 60) co-founded the Newsreel filmmaking collective in the 1960s, and his movies explored the wear-and-tear of political and personal commitment, in films ranging from the revolutionary dystopia of Ice to the “anti-Nashville” epic Milestones to this intimate reckoning.
“[Robert Kramer] has created a haunting picture, one that prompts ruminations about formulas for living and what they come to mean to idealists who are ultimately defeated by their own humanity.”—The New York Times