Films: Pincus

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USA, 2012, 78 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: American Indie, Dark Comedy, Drama, Family Issues, Medical/Health
Program: New Directors Showcase
Language: English

DIRECTOR: David Fenster
Editor: David Fenster
Screenwriter: David Fenster
Cinematographer: David Fenster
Principal Cast: David Nordstrom, Dietmar Franosch, Paul Fenster, Christy Idavoy

Pincus Finster (David Nordstrom) would rather be smoking weed, drinking, chasing girls—or doing nothing. Instead he is the sole caretaker for his dad, Paul (Paul Fenster), who is suffering from the effects of Parkinson’s disease. On top of that, he has moved into his father’s home and taken over his remodeling business.

But it isn’t all work for Pincus—in fact he badly neglects his worksite responsibilities, shunning his dad’s former clients and letting his only friend, an undocumented alcoholic German named Dietmar (Dietmar Franosch), sleep in the houses they listlessly work on together. And while Pincus doesn’t neglect his dad, he isn’t overly enthusiastic about his newfound role as a caregiver.

Pincus eventually enrolls in a yoga class, mostly in an awkward attempt to hit on the instructor, Anna (Christi Idavoy). When she resists his initial come-ons, he develops the pretext of seeking her help to find alternative therapies for his ailing father. But in his halfhearted quest, Pincus begins to glean some wisdom that he can apply to his own life, though perhaps as much from Dietmar’s burnt-out babble as from Anna’s new-age therapies.

Director David Fenster drew extensively on his own experiences as a young man helping to care for his father, who had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s for 13 years when the film was made. In fact, Fenster cast much of his own family and many of his friends—including his father—to make a kind of fictionalized documentary about their relationship, and the challenges they face together living with a progressive neurological disease. The result is a funny, authentic, and deeply personal film.


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