produced, Directed, photographed and Edited
By Alan Berliner
Alan Berliner takes on his reclusive father as the reluctant subject of this poignant and graceful study of family history and memory. What emerges is a uniquely cinematic biography that finds both humor and pathos in the swirl of conflicts and affections that bind father and son. Ultimately this complex portrait is a meeting of the minds - where the past meets the present, where generations collide, and where the boundaries of family life are pushed, pulled, stretched, torn and surprisingly at times, also healed.
Particularly in this age of low format video proliferation, Nobody's Business is notable for its masterful editing, stunning craft and exquisite filmmaking. Filmmaker Alan Berliner achieves a rare feat of inter-generational sleuthing as he weaves together aesthetically and emotionally rich interviews with his father and other family members, an extraordinary array of archival material, and live action sequences to create an inventive and touching essay on memory and family. Mining the hitherto untapped resources of long-distance relatives, some of whom were unknown to him prior to the making of the film, Berliner touches upon universal themes relating to families, regardless of cultural background. This was reflected in the robust volume of viewer response to the program - the largest ever recorded by P.O.V.. In his dogged search for his family roots, Berliner inspired others to explore their backgrounds and connect with their own personal histories. P.O.V. used the film as the centerpiece of a campaign with the National Archives and other genealogical organizations to provide viewers nationwide with regional workshops and opportunities to dig into their family trees.