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Pictures from the Brainbox: A Weekly Dose of Indie Animation - 'My Dad'

Every Tuesday, Chris Robinson digests and dissects (relatively) new indie animation short films. This week, he screens My Dad by Marcus Armitage

'My Dad' by Marcus Armitage

Or the closest thing I had to one was also a British guy like the one in Marcus Armitage’s potent (student) film, My Dad.) Mine came to Canada in the mid-1960s to become an architect but instead became a shoe clerk then a Cop. Apparently he wasn’t very good at it and to this day that police force uses his arrests as examples of what not to do.

I didn’t care for him. When he wasn't threatening to punch me or busting my high school football team’s house party, pushing me into walls, assaulting my mother or driving me to an orphanage as a threat to my mother, well he was ok. He got me involved in sports and music. That’s something. Oh…and he also introduced me to rifles (one of which I used to take a frog’s eye out, just for fun) racism (I spray painted “PAKI POWER” on a neighbour’s fence when they told us stop playing baseball next to their house. He found out, called the police and kicked me repeatedly outside in front of the neighbours. I only even knew the word because he’d used it…along with indian and nigger and jew and eskimo and bitch and cunt and whore… ) and porn (he kept raunchy mags right under their bed and later I found these tapes he had of women mating with horses. Apparently it was research for his porn unit.) He embarrassed me in front of people. He was sarcastic and rude to my friends. No one even wanted to come over.  

I feared him.

I hated him.

I behaved liked him.

When I was 15, I discovered that he wasn't my real father. I felt joy.

He left my mom for another woman when I was about 20.

When he moved out, I felt exhilaration and relief and then got hammered (on his booze).

I never saw him again,

yet I hear him every day.

There is nothing more painful.

Chris Robinson's picture

A well-known figure in the world of independent animation, writer, author & curator Chris Robinson is the Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival.