Family Reunion

A short documentary by Jean Forest

At the age of 36, Jean discovers his father alive for the first time by viewing super 8 films of old family reunions. He then decides to retrace the uneven trajectory of his family history and to draw the portrait of an absent father, through the accounts of those who knew him.

DIRECTOR Jean Forest

DURATION 20 min.

YEAR Release 2024

Produced by RAYUELA PRODUCTIONS with the support of CENTRE DU CINÉMA ET DE L’AUDIOVISUEL DE LA FÉDÉRATION WALLONIE-BRUXELLES and of ZOROBABEL, of TAXSHELTER.BE, of ING, of tax shelter du gouvernement fédéral de Belgique


On 14 June 1987, on the way home from a family reunion, the car in which my father, mother, brother and I were travelling deviated from its course. A week later, we are still in hospital, my mother is waking up from her coma, my father is dead and buried, but we don’t know it yet. I am two years old, my brother five, my mother twenty-nine, my father thirty-one. It is a tragedy. And yet until recently it didn’t really affect me. I have no memory of the accident, not of my father, not of the year before, not of the year after. I was told the story. It happened, full stop. There followed a long silence, the silence of survival.

This film aims to break the silence, to reanimate the story, 35 years after the fact. By seeking answers to personal questions: Who was my father? What happened on the day of the accident? My reflection opens on the aftermath: What trajectories do our lives take when they break up? How do we mourn the loss of someone we never knew? What can we create from the void left by death?