Conversations in Vermont
In one of Robert Frank’s most personal documentaries, he examines his relationship with his children Pablo and Andrea. The two teenagers are attending a private school in rural Vermont rather than living with their parents in New York. In this loose collage of countless photos of the family intercut with conversations filmed in his customary, unpolished style, the director wonders aloud what the film is going to be about. “Maybe it’s about growing older, about past and present. It's some kind of family album. I don't know.” He asks Pablo and Andrea to reflect on their upbringing in a free-spirited artistic environment in New York, and on how their life has changed. Pablo explains that his relationship with his father was always difficult, and that he’s now trying to put it into words for the first time. Frank confesses that he and his wife Mary just went ahead and did their own thing, and Andrea replies that she would have preferred “normal” parents. But agreeing on what “normal” means proves to be challenging. Pablo and Andrea are now living a very different kind of life. In the city you have to do everything yourself, but in the countryside things are less chaotic and there’s a greater sense of community. Andrea is visibly happy when she’s singing in the local choir.