Rosemary A.D. (After Dad) is a short autobiographical crayon cartoon that answers director Ethan Barrett’s question of whether his newborn daughter would be better off if he wasn’t in her life.
Rosemary A.D. (After Dad), directed and made by the father, Ethan Barrett, focuses on a subject matter many will have their own opinions about. Paternal relationships exist entirely separate from maternal ones, and it is this the short explores with emotional insight.
Rosemary A.D. (After Dad) was screened as part of the London Film Festival 2022 and is available to watch for free online as part of the festival. All words of this review were written entirely by the writers at Cinamore.
For Rosemary, will she be begrudged for her father’s suicide, using it to fuel angst and anger against the men and causing her to lash back out, or will her father’s suicide manifest into depression for her mother, culminating in drug abuse, and untimely demise.
Or, more likely, will the years pass and Rosemary grows up knowing no father figure in her life, becoming a nurtured reflection of her mother, until one day stopping to question her interests and beliefs and wondering if her father shared the same as well.
For a short to tackle such a complex issue of parenting, and responsibility, and for it to be told akin to a Charlie and Lola crayon art style is impressive.
Most heartbreakingly though is what her father’s narration says of his own emotions, using his daughter’s birth as a projection rather than accepting his flaws.
It is rare for men in the wider society to express so openly their vulnerabilities, and in the instance of parenthood because any weakness could be seen as a failure to parent.
But to also use the medium of animation to present these vulnerable moments as dry humour as a way of lamenting his own morality and questioning his ability is where Rosemary A.D. (After Dad) really finds its footing.
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