An impeccable performance in CODA made Troy Kotsur a star overnight. Yet in the context of Hollywood, little was know about the man before his breakout. The veteran actor of stage and screen got his moment in the Sun, but there was still more to be told. With documentarian Sean Schiavolin, Kotsur explores his powerful bond with his father.
Kotsur explores his career but focuses on explaining how he found his way into show business. As he does, he explores his relationship with his father. From the start, Kotsur’s father not only supported him but pushed him to explore his passions. However, his father had an unexpected accident, which out his life in danger. The short documentary becomes a love letter to the man who helped shape his world, and Kotsur becomes extremely emotional during the telling.
To My Father becomes extremely emotional after the accident. Kotsur must accept his father lost the ability to sign. Even so, his father sought to inspire and push Kotsur. While his father was not available to attend some of the highest moments in his life, Kotsur credits his influence.
The recreations and archival footage blend together to showcase Kotsur’s emotional ups and downs. His expressive face and trademark energy build throughout the documentary. Kotsur shows why he’s such a compelling screen presence. The raw emotion is impossible to ignore, and takes us on a journey.
Schiavolin wisely keeps his camera focused on Kotsur as much as possible. When recreations are included, they capture the feeling of hazy memories. Oftentimes, objects in the background appear out of focus. The distinct moments of Kotsurs life burst off the screen in focus, clear and in focus. It’s a nice stylistic touch that blends with the archival footage.
As a short, the emotion of To My Father Carrie’s the film. It’s a pure and honest moment for the acclaimed actor. While many would use his newly found power for more broad appeal, he instead tells an extremely personal yet relatable story. It speaks to Kotsur as a human that he instead wants to celebrate the people who helped him achieve in life.