Erich Taschek, filmmaker Michaela Taschek´s father, used to be a fun-loving and sociable man. But then "Eichi" turned into a taciturn loner who locked himself in the cellar to make models and hardly ever left the house. After his death Taschek uses family photos and home movies to invent a wild doppelganger theory that provides a plot for her long lasting feelings of alienation. An essay about disappearance and the power of projection in "documentary" images.
Esther Buss, Catalogue DOK Leipzig
In cautious takes, Michaela Taschek explores the kitchen at her parents´ house; films the breakfast table, then the hallway, and finally, the bathroom where her father died entirely unexpectedly of cardiac arrest in 2014. With a calm voice, the filmmaker explains from off-screen, a baffling story that neither begins nor ends with her father´s death: that morning in June was, after all, not the day that her father disappeared. She is utterly convinced that Erich was replaced by a doppelgänger already more than twenty years early. Taschek looks back fondly to a time in which her father Erich was still entirely himself: she films old photo albums, weaves in fragments of Super-8 movies from the family stock, and recalls a sociable and agile man who celebrated life before he was forced to give way to a taciturn, eccentric doppelgänger. In her essay-like search movement, the filmmaker lets the photos from back then become reversible figures: a pale fog of blurriness surrounds the in-part blissful snapshots, which the filmmaker questions once again in her documentary fiction, in order to identify the dodges of a transformation and track down the window of time in the 1980s in which the father — at first, unnoticed by the family — must have been replaced by an unapproachable duplicate.
With Doppelgänger, Michaela Taschek draws a delicate portrait along the memories of the two men, and reveals a contemplative cinematic space in which facets of saying goodbye condense in an unusual form of viewing. (Jana Koch)
Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt