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Parents' Guide to

The Festival of Troubadours

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Sad, slow-moving father-son drama has some language.

Movie NR 2022 102 minutes
The Festival of Troubadours movie poster

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Once a dying old man shows up at his estranged son's doorstep, there isn't a single surprise as The Festival of Troubadours wends its way slowly to an inevitable ending. This is slow-moving and ponderous. Every time there's an opportunity to move our understanding forward, to offer an insight into the characters and their actions, the filmmakers deliberately choose to tell us nothing instead, so the story seems even slower and more ponderous.

Somber but believable performances help us make the journey with the honored folk musician and the angry, resentful son who can't get an explanation for why his father abandoned him. But ultimately the movie lacks any sense that anyone in it realizes or learns anything from the ordeal. The movie begins and ends with photographs, suggesting that the writer-director believes the only thing that counts is memory, or at least that sometimes that's all we get in life. But that's unsatisfying because it dismisses the pain at the heart of the story.

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