Price: $310.00

    Code: 2336

    Directed by Jeremiah Zagar
    2008, 80 minutes
    Purchase: $310 Classroom Rental: $125

    In the vibrant, bohemian neighborhood of South Philadelphia, 50,000-square feet of concrete are covered with tile and mirrors—mosaics that were created by Isaiah Zagar, an eccentric, tormented artist.

    The murals chronicle his love for his wife, Julia, and subtly hint at the darker corners of an extraordinary imagination. Where Isaiah is obsessive and narcissistic—a former Peace Corps volunteer who has become an icon in South Philly's art community—Julia is gracious and warm. For decades, their opposing natures complemented one another perfectly. But suddenly the family is torn apart at the seams: A few hours before picking up his oldest son from a rehabilitation center, Isaiah declares to the camera, "As people get older they have less and less passion." He then confesses to an affair with his assistant, is kicked out of the house, and spirals into a debilitating, suicidal depression.

    In a Dream is a loving, but unsparing psychological portrait of an artist, of the artistic process and mental illness.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    * Winner, Emerging Visions Audience Award, South by Southwest Film Festival, 2008
    * Winner, Audience Award, San Francisco International Film Festival, 2008
    * Winner, Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award, Full Frame Film Festival, 2008
    * Winner, Best Documentary, Woodstock Film Festival, 2008
    * Winner, Best First Film, Philadelphia Film Festival, 2008


    "Bursting with vivid home movies and loving appreciations of Isaiah’s artwork — frenzied drawings and monumental mosaics in tile and mirror, many of which now beautify his Philadelphia neighborhood — In a Dream abounds in visual pleasure." - The New York Times

    "A stunning, deeply personal documentary portrait. Mixing old home movies, wonderful animated sequences derived from Isaiah's art, and scenes of Isaiah at work, of Julia in agony, and of their eldest son, Zeke, grappling with his own demons, In a Dream captures a family imploding. Their lives are laid bare, in broken bits, like the ceramic that Isaiah uses for his art, and they come together in In a Dream with sadness and beauty, rage and insight." – Philadelphia Inquirer

    "As a story about art and artists, In a Dream is soft-spoken, well-paced, and smoothly engrossing. As a portrait of a sweet but slightly fractured man, it's one of the most unexpectedly touching documentaries I've ever seen." – Cinematical


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