“Lettres Persanes” is an epistolary essay film based on letters of an imprisoned cardiovascular surgeon.
The surgeon whom the filmmaker did not know until his first letter, contacts her from a prison in Paris. The filmmaker learns that he is her father and that everything she had heard about him before was fictive. In hindsight, that does not bother her much, because fiction wasn’t as problematic as his attempts at truth. At least, it seemed more sincere than the simulated realism of the father’s letters that deal with blood relationship, genealogy, determination, identity and ignorance towards privilege. The motive of the filmmaker is not confirmation of reality, but protest as well as rejection of patrilineal identity. In at times peculiar reflections on schemas, reconstructions and “familial tissue”, the letters convey controversies over class, patriarchy and accountability.

Status: in production

Feature Documentary film
Development funded by the Berlin Senate Department of Culture (work stipend for female filmmakers)
ⓒ Jana Papenbroock, Berlin 2020

With Luise Boege
Director of photography Jakob Gross

Preview screening of a 10 min excerpt:
Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art
Saturday, Sept 28 at 8.30pm