Mark Wexler's cinematic blend of biography and autobiography centers on his relationship with his father, legendary Oscar-winning cinematographer and filmmaker Haskell Wexler, whose long and illustrious career is a virtual... more » catalogue of 20th-century classics. Haskell's collaborations with such world-class filmmakers as Elia Kazan, Milos Forman, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola and Mike Nichols include such works as WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, AMERICAN GRAFFITI, COMING HOME, BOUND FOR GLORY and ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST. The film features interviews with many of these artists, along with such luminaries as Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas and Sidney Poitier. But the true "star" of TELL THEM WHO YOU ARE is Haskell himself, a controversial, larger-than-life character who challenges his son's filmmaking skills while announcing with complete conviction that he could have done a better job directing most of the movies he's shot. As these two men swap positions on camera and behind it - sometimes shooting one another simultaneously - the film looks with honesty and compassion at their attempts to reconcile before it's too late.« less
"I am partial to those stories that really get at the heart of a family. Mark Wexler needed to do this film to work out his relationship with his parents. It worked. As you see this film forget that his father had a life where he worked with famous people. This story gets played out with most of us regular people. Worth seeing by all."
Tell Them Who You Are by film maker Mark Wexler
John Agnone | Virginia | 12/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This documentary touched me deeper than any documentary to date. As a former editor for National Geographic Publications, I hired Mark Wexler to shoot still pictures for a National Geographic Book. He was talented then, and when he started making documentaries several years ago, I was thrilled by their insight and quality. But when Mark worked for me I didn't know he was the son of Academy Award winner Haskell Wexler. Only within the past year did I realize Mark's father was his father and a difficult guy to get along with. Like most children, Mark has only wanted to get a nod of appreciation from his dad. That nod in Mark's significant and acclaimed professional career was never forthcoming and was a source of sadness for a son who admired a distant father.
As the film reveals, Mark decided to produce a documentary about his dad as his dad approached his 80th birthday. The film is a little uncomfortable to watch at times and completely unscripted, yet I could not stop watching. From the opening scenes where Haskell is critical of Mark's questions and filming approach, to the closing scenes where Mark takes Haskell to visit Mark's mother and Haskell's ex-wife who has Alzheimers, there is a steady softening of Haskell's attitude toward his son. In the end, Haskell expresses (a rare event for his hardened ego) gratitude for his son and the connection between father and son is made, or at least a connection is started on a new emotional level.
In-depth interviews with some of Hollywood's greats about being the offspring of a powerful parent (or being a powerful parent) adds to the universal appeal of this great documentary. This movie transcends Hollywood. No glitz here. Just regular people who happen to be in the entertainment business. Highly recommended. Thank you, Mark, for making this film. "
Gus | New Haven, CT | 10/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An inspiring, moving documentary. What could have been a dreary, by-the-numbers clebrity bio becomes instead a profound and deeply felt investigation into the sometimes thorny relationship between acclaimed cinematographer/documentarian Haskell Wexler and his not-so-famous filmmaker son Mark. It's a film that is both humorous and heart-breaking, with many insightful moments from surprising sources. It's fascinating to watch this documentary expand far beyond the limits of its localized Hollywood subject matter and touch such a universal emotional chord with fathers and sons in all walks of life. I thank both Wexlers for this brave film."
Tell Tehm Who You Are
Victoria J. Faria | Paradise, CA USA | 06/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thank you, I received it very quickly and enjoyed receiving it. I collect Julia Robert Movies."
Cj D. Vries | CapeTown, RSA | 02/16/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I had no idea who Haskell Wexler was before I started watching this highly entertaining and well made documentary. One is quickly informed about the movies he was DOP for, and what numerous actors, directors and producers think of him. Not all favourable by the way. The gist of the movie is the relationship between son Mark (who made the movie) and father Haskell. They are entirely different people with Mark being more conservative to the outspoken and liberal Haskell. But herein lies the universality of the movie - even though we would sometimes deny it, we all strive for the approval and acknowledgement of our parents. You havent finished the experience of "Tell Them Who You Are" until you have watched Haskell's reaction to the movie in the EXTRAS of the DVD. Very moving!"