Archive of films All About my Father / Alt om min far

Norway / Denmark
2001, 75 min

Section: Documentary Films in Competition
Year: 2002

Young Norwegian director Even Benestad offers us a suggestive portrait of his father, Esben Benestad, a respected doctor from a small town who is also a transvestite working as occasional actress and sex therapist Esther Pirelli. This friendly, open film gently reveals the trauma of one unusual Norwegian family.


Esben Benestad runs his own doctor’s surgery in a small Norwegian town, he has written two books on sex education and contributes to a men’s magazine. He is also a transvestite working as an occasional actress and sex therapist under the name of Esther Pirelli. Young Norwegian director Even Benestad offers us a suggestive portrait of his father, conveyed with both warmth and irony. Using a combination of archive family footage and video recordings of interviews with his father and other members of the family, he creates an intimate mosaic of emotions, opinions and responses, complemented with images of Esben’s cross-dressing rituals, family arguments and stylised scenes. The director captures the history of an unusual family with an unconventional father, whose current wife supports him whole-heartedly in everything he does. In contrast, his former wife, daughter and son, in spite of their love and respect for him, criticise him mercilessly for his behaviour in a stubborn attempt to find an explanation for the events they experienced over the past quarter century. In its friendly openness and sensitive humour, the film acts as a tonic for the trauma of family life.

About the director

Even Benestad (b. 1974, Grimstad, Norway) studied direction at the Film and Television Academy in Oslo. After several short features and documentaries commissioned by regional television channels, he made his independent debut All about My Father.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Documentary Films in Competition
Director: Even Benestad
Screenplay: Even Benestad, August B. Hansen
Dir. of Photography: Bjorn Eivind Aarskog, Steffan Strandberg
Music: John Erik Kaada
Editor: Erik Andersson
Producer: Bjorn Eivind Aarskog, Carsten Holst
Production: Exposed Film Productions AS, ve spolupráci s / in co-production with: Zentropa Real

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