thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 11:43 authored by Kenneth McDonald
Kingfish is a documentary film that addresses a 19-year estrangement between my father, Jack McDonald, and his brother, Dan. Despite research indicating that 1 in 12 people experience familial estrangement,1 this phenomenon is rarely discussed. Kingfish explores the culture of silence surrounding family estrangement, as well as other complex factors contributing to its initiation and maintenance. To confront this, Kingfish poses a two-part question: How does estrangement function and what are its effects? I examine Jack and Dan’s estrangement as a byproduct of significant events that were not properly addressed or processed. I also look at psychological concepts of differentiation of self and betrayal of the family system, as well as Jack and Dan’s distinct valuation of money. Existing within the tradition of domestic ethnography and autobiographical documentary, Kingfish provides an intimate and personal portrait of family cut-off, which acts as one small initiative to confront the silence surrounding estrangement.