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Fayad's is an intensely personal work of "creative documentary," a form that stresses subjective experience and tends to be formally more interesting than classical documentaries aspiring to objectivity.The film opens with a fixed shot of a rural road, stretching to a near horizon. The film includes conversations with the filmmaker's mom and dad about how it's possible to inherit the anxieties of the previous generation.Mostly, though, the film is preoccupied with the filmmaker's efforts to convince Zen, his pet dog, to venture beyond the gate of his parents' house.Suggesting that pets have a way of adopting the behavior of their owners, Fayad's minor key struggle to take Zen for a walk becomes a comic metaphor for the filmmaker's own neurosis.Having worked to reify ("thing-ify"), his Civil War-born anxiety, the film effortlessly undermines that when a friend (film producer and dog-lover Lara Abu Saifan), drops round the house for a visit. "Diaries" is about impeccably framed shots of the barren hills adjacent the family house.
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