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Review: In a Dream

Unusual, probing, and honest
By GERALD PEARY  |  July 1, 2009
3.5 3.5 Stars

 

For seven years, Jeremiah Zagar has had the camera rolling as his hippie parents keep their symbiotic marriage afloat — though Isaiah, his fragile painter dad, teeters on the edge of lunacy. Julia, the doting wife, stands by while Isaiah, a bearded, red-eyed Old Testament prophet, sublimates his semi-madness into obsessive art.

He's pledged to transform South Philadelphia, the cheese-steak capital, into a mosaic-covered palace. So far, he's rehabbed seven eroding buildings; they're now, every inch, a bejeweled, broken-mirror mosaic land, basement to attic. Tourists go wild!

All of this is weird but harmless, but then a house-wrecking young thing enters the picture. Zagar, the brave son, keeps filming as his bold, visionary dad turns out to have feet of clay. There are lots of filmmakers out there making documentaries about their parents. In a Dream is one of the most unusual, and most probing and honest.

Related: In a Dream, Review: Sweetgrass, Review: Gerrymandering, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , documentary, Jeremiah Zagar, Jeremiah Zagar,  More more >
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