The Letter that was never written


View the Film


Technical Profile

Hi8, B & W, 55 minutes, Japan 1990
Original languages: French and English
Director: Dominique Dubosc
This film is one of the sequence-shots of the series LIVE produced by Philippe Grandrieux for ARTE.


I got the idea for this film from a photograph by Duane Michals, of which the text went more or less like this: “I always hoped that one day my father would write me a letter telling me where he had hidden his love for me. But then he died and I never received the letter.”
After the sudden death of my father I thought that I could perhaps write this never-written letter in his place by bringing together rare moments in which he showed his love for me. These moments were, above all, connected to a very beautiful house in Kamakura where he lived with his last wife and where I visited him towards the end of his life.
I thus shot the film as a walk through the house, the garden and the neighboring cemetary (where he is buried) — a trajectory which finally took me to my father’s study. It was there that I found the most important trace of his love for me, that is, the permission he granted me on one memorable occasion in Kyoto, to, at last, see the world differently from the way he saw it. I thought I would end my letter there, but I was led on by the shooting of the take and continued until the very end…

Press Review