In A Dream

Eye on the Oscars: Documentaries

COUNTRY: U.S.

DIRECTOR: Jeremiah Zagar helmed the shorts “The Unbelievable Truth,” “Baby Eat Baby” and “Coney Island 1945.” “In a Dream” is his first feature film.

SUBJECT: Artist Isaiah Zagar creates a tile- and mirror-covered sculpture made from 50,000 square feet of concrete that chronicles his love for his wife, Julia. Isaiah then confesses to an affair. Jeremiah Zagar, their son, films this story of love and betrayal.

FINANCING: Private investors

DISTRIB: HBO

HELMER COMMENTS: “I never thought I would make a movie about my family, but my mother asked me to do it,” Zagar says. “It took seven years. At first it wasn’t very good, but then I took my father to West Virginia and isolated him in the way I thought Errol Morris might do it. About four years into it, I was filming my brother coming out of rehab and my father admitted he was having an affair. That became the emotional arc of the film. Then we spent about three more years editing. My family, they were always open and honest with the camera and me. And because we were filming for so long, it became natural. Editing was difficult. My mother is such a rock, and I don’t think I heard her scream in my entire life. All of a sudden, I had it on film and I had to watch it all the time and figure out how to make it meaningful for an audience. It was difficult for me to cut the realistic stuff.”

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