Postcard to Daddy
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Postcard to Daddy

Germany, 2010, 85 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Documentary, Gay, Incest / Sexual Abuse
Program: Documentary
Language: German

DIRECTOR: Michael Stock

The Stock family photos look like conventional portraits of everyday life: trips to the beach, bright-eyed children, lively images of smiling faces and innocence. Pictures sometimes lie. What they don’t show is the painful secret that Michael Stock kept hidden away during his childhood that would affect his entire life: Michael’s alcoholic father sexually abused him for eight years.

Using interviews with family members, photos, and clips from his first feature film, Michael chronicles his personal quest for inner peace, often through frank self-reflection. Driven to drinking and drug use in order to numb the pain of his abuse, Michael’s life is one of complicated relationships and depression but also one of hope and survival.

As a gay man with both HIV and Hepatitis C, he works through shame to declare himself a survivor. His mother, who left his father after she discovered the abuse, feels tremendous guilt but wishes that everyone would put the situation to rest. His sister refuses to speak to their father or let him see his grandkids. His brother, however, has a difficult time reconciling his own happy memories with Michael’s truth.

After having a series of strokes, Michael’s wish is to bring his story to TV to give a voice to other victims. Following the cathartic work of most of the film, Michael agrees to sit down with his father. It’s an emotional climax that demonstrates the human complexity of hurt and forgiveness. — ANGELIQUE SMITH

Text Voting Code: D327

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New Leaf: Services For Our Community and Goethe Institut of San Francisco


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