Synopsis by Mark Deming
For decades, Isaiah Zagar has been one of Philadelphia's best known and most respected visual artists, crafting mosaic murals from tile, paint, and cement that express the joy of life and the power of the spirit in a style that's both impressionistic and whimsical. Filmmaker Jeremiah Zagar is Isaiah Zagar's son, and in 2005 Jeremiah set out to make a documentary about his father's life, art, and working methods, a project he began at the urging of his mother, Julia Zagar. Jeremiah urged his father to be completely honest with him, and Isaiah complied to a degree the filmmaker never expected, as Isaiah shared stories of being sexually abused as a child, his bouts with mental illness, his powerful love for his wife, his occasional infidelities, and his fears that advancing age is leading him into a new bout with insanity. Jeremiah Zagar's first feature-length film, In a Dream, is both a moving tribute to his father's art and his parents' love affair and a portrait of a complex, caring, but deeply troubled man whose demons have never entirely let him be. In a Dream received its world premiere at the 2008 South By Southwest Film Festival, where it received the Emerging Visions Audience Award.
artist, creativity, family, father, inspiration, mosaic, self-expression, tribute