Film Review: The Book Keepers

There is no right or wrong way to deal with grief. We all process a loss in our own way. The fact one approach works for one person doesn’t mean it will be successful for someone else. The only real advice in dealing with bereavement that’s universal is the power of expressing your emotions. Not bottling your feelings up inside but actively articulating what you’re going through and having someone willing to listen. This can be done in many ways.

In the case of Dick Wall, he’s working through his loss in a rather unusual way. His wife Carol has written a critically acclaimed memoir, but she sadly lost her fight against cancer, which formed part of the novel, shortly after publication. He made a promise to her and is now, along with one of his sons, travelling around the US on what should have been her book tour. The Book Keeper follows him on this long and arduous journey of healing.

The Book Keepers is a profoundly personal documentary about a man trying to keep his wife’s voice alive, and in the process deal with his loss. Filmmaker Phil Wall joins his father on tour, capturing the public and private moments. The strength of his film lies within this intimacy. It comes at a price of some of the technical elements you’d normally expect. In many ways, The Book Keepers is a form of therapy. One which allows the audience to join in.

The Book Keepers is available to stream in the US from 18 October and will be available on DVD from 22 November.  

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