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The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation

The Moon and the Son, a 28-minute autobiographical animated film by John Canemaker, explores the difficult emotional terrain of father/son relationships as seen through Canemaker's own turbulent relationship with his father. Noted actors Eli Wallach and John Turturro provide the voices of the father and son. Canemaker interviewed his father, John F. Cannizzaro, Sr., before the latter's death in 1995, in an effort to get to the truth of issues that had always simmered beneath the surface of their relationship and often erupted into violence. He discovers in his father a man of many contradictions — American-born but raised in poverty in Calabria, Italy; a pious Catholic with long ties to organized crime; a twice-decorated World War II hero subsequently convicted of arson; an eager, aggressive go-getter unable to achieve his dreams; a devoted husband and father whose rage and self-inflicted misfortune devastated his family. The Moon and the Son employs a variety of animation techniques — literally drawing understanding from its dark subject matter. Canemaker creates an imaginary conversation with his deceased father, using memory, fact, conjecture, trial transcripts, audio recordings, home movies, photos, snapshots, and original animation to tell the story of his father's life and his own.
oscars academy awards

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Awards and nominations

Special Mention - Best Documentary Short Film
Interfilm: International Short Film Festival Berlin
1 Nov – 6 Nov | Germany
Outstanding Achievement in Animation - Directors' Choice
23 Feb – 26 Feb | United States
Best Animated Short Film
5 Mar | United States
Best of International Programme 9
22 Aug – 27 Aug | United Kingdom

Previous screenings

2005
Interfilm: International Short Film Festival Berlin
1 Nov – 6 Nov | Berlin, Germany
Special Mention - Best Documentary Short Film
2006
23 Feb – 26 Feb | Sedona, United States
Outstanding Achievement in Animation - Directors' Choice
5 Mar | United States
Best Animated Short Film
5 May – 7 May | Trenton, United States
9 Jun – 17 Jun | Atlanta, United States
Animafest Zagreb: World Festival of Animated Film
12 Jun – 17 Jun | Zagreb, Croatia
22 Aug – 27 Aug | London, United Kingdom
Best of International Programme 9
1 Sep – 4 Sep | Telluride, United States
29 Sep – 7 Oct | Edmonton, Canada

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 14 Feb 2009