Documentary, HDCam, stereo, color, 83'

Forgetting Dad

“If your father no longer remembers you, does he stop being your father?” This is the poignant question posed by filmmaker Rick Minnich in the opening scene as he seeks answers for the reasons behind his father’s total amnesia following a minor car accident in 1990. A week after the accident, Richard Minnich no longer recognized any of his family or friends, and he couldn’t perform even the simplest of tasks. The doctors were baffled. His family members — three children from Richard’s first marriage and Richard’s second wife and their two children — were supportive, yet everyone instinctively knew something was terribly wrong. Sixteen years after the accident, Rick returns to his family’s home in California and begins to investigate, only to discover no one — not his two wives, his five children, or his former colleagues — truly knows the real Richard Minnich. Part memoir, part detective story, FORGETTING DAD uses home movie clips and probing interviews to create a deeply personal, painful look at how one man’s choices rippled through the lives of each member of his family.

  • Special Jury Award – IDFA – Joris Ivens Competition
  • Grand Jury Prize – GZDOC Guangzhou (China)
  • Short list – German Film Prize (‘Lola’ – Oscar equivalent)
  • Honorable Mention – Achtung Berlin – New Berlin Film Award
  • 2nd audience award – Ippokratis 1st International Health Film Festival (Kos, Greece)
  • William Dieterle Filmpreis – Special Prize (Germany)
  • Honorable Mention – Dallas Video Fest (USA)

“A bizarre blend of business thriller and family drama.” (Spiegel Online)

“A film which questions Richard Minnich’s amnesia with great sensitivity and suspense.”
Christine Ritzenhoff, FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE SONNTAGSZEITUNG

“A Fascinating Film.”
Gil Whiteley, DENVER DAILY NEWS

“Another pick for one of the top independent docs of the decade. The filmmakers’ dad develops amnesia, and rejects the relationship they once had. Both fascinating and heartbreaking, this is why we love CINEMA.”
HOT SPRINGS DOCUMENTARY FILM INSTITUTE

“…a clever allegory about the United States of Amnesia, wherein wind-blown men can remake themselves in an instant.”
Thumbs up: “A thrilling and moving film…”
CINEMA.DE

“An incredibly bizarre journey across America with increasingly surreal imagery.”
Martina Knoben, SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG

“Breathtaking documentary.”
Joachim Kurz, KINO-ZEIT.DE

“An unparalleled, touching documentary.”
Matthias Wannhof, SCHNITT.DE

“Incredibly fascinating.”
Alexandra Seitz, TIP, Germany

  • IDFA (Netherlands)
  • Göteborg (Sweden)
  • Max Ophüls Festival (Germany)
  • True/False (USA)
  • Full Frame (USA)
  • É Tudo Verdade – It’s All True (Brazil)
  • Belfast (N. Ireland)
  • Achtung Berlin – New Berlin Film Award (Germany)
  • Hot Docs (Canada)
  • Planete Doc Review (Poland)
  • Doc Aviv (Israel)
  • Doxa (Canada)
  • Guth Gafa (Ireland)
  • Stranger Than Fiction (Ireland)
  • Biografilm (Italy)
  • Ippokratis 1st International Health Film Festival (Greece)
  • Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival (USA)
  • Docúpolis (Spain)
  • Ourense (Spain)
  • Heartland Film Festival (USA)
  • Hot Springs (USA)
  • St. Louis (USA)
  • Denver (USA)
  • GZ DOC, Guangzhou (China)
  • Sedona International Film Festival (USA)
  • Documentary Edge (New Zealand)
  • Cleveland International Film Festival (USA)
  • Shanghai TV Festival – Magnolia Awards (China)
  • Dallas Video Fest (USA)
  • Nonfiktionale (Germany)
  • Belgium: Canvas, 28 October 2009
  • Brazil: TV Cultura, 21 October 2010
  • Finland: YLE FST5, 3 August 2009, 21:50
  • Canada: Knowledge Network, British Columbia, 19 January 2010, 21:00, 20 January 2010, 0.00
  • Sweden: SVT2, 18 July 2010, 22:00, 21 + 23 July 2010.
  • Israel: Noga Communications Channel 8, 30 March 2010, 21:05
  • India: NDTV 24 x 7, 10 April 2010 – 15:00, 11 April 2010 – 13:00, 17 April 2010 –
    15:00, 18 April 2010, 13:00
  • Germany: ZDF 25 October 2011 0:20 Uhr, repeated on 30 October 2011 at 2:20 and 20:15 in zdf-kultur. ZDF Kultur: 30 October 2011 at 2:20 and 20:15, 28 February 2012 at 20:15 and 0:10, 29 February 2012 at 9:35, 25 September 2012 at 21:50, 26 September 12 at 1:30, 8 August 2015 at 20:15, 9 July 2015 at 0:30, Phoenix 21 January 2012 at 22:30
  • The Netherlands: Nederland 2, 5 January 2012 at 23:40

Read director Rick Minnich’s Forgetting Dad blog.

Directors: Rick Minnich & Matt Sweetwood
Writers: Rick Minnich & Matt Sweetwood
Cinematography: Axel Schneppat
Sound: Rick Minnich & Matt Sweetwood
Editor: Matt Sweetwood
Mix: Raimund von Scheibner
Score: Ari Benjamin Meyers
Music: Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg
Producer: Hoferichter & Jacobs GmbH
Co-producer: ZDF – Das kleine Fernsehspiel
World Sales: Off the Fence
Distribution (DE): W-Film
Educational Distribution (DE) Filmsortiment
Educational Distribution (N. America) Dark Hollow Films
Educational Distribution (rest of world) Film Platform