The Trouble with Dad (a documentary film)

In February 2017, David Baddiel presented this documentary about his changing relationship with his dad following his diagnosis of Pick’s Disease (a rare and aggressive form of dementia).  Baddiel made the documentary after touring the country performing a comedy show (My family: Not the sitcom) about how he had come to understand his dad’s illness – and his increasingly abusive behaviour – as part of a wider history of his father’s life and relationship with his three sons. Whilst touring, Baddiel said that he was stuck by the reaction of his audiences and by how many people shared similar often complicated, and powerful, stories about their own families and experiences of illness and/ or caring.  He said that he made this documentary to help make caring for people with dementia a more visible and more acceptable issue for people to talk about.

 

Critics reviewing the programme commented on the “blisteringly frank” (The Telegraph), “searing honesty” (The I) and the “brutal and brave” (The Guardian) nature of Baddiel’s perspective who says during the film that he uses humour as a way of coping with his dad’s illness. In the film, Baddiel also meets other families caring for loved-ones and comments on how different, and difficult, it would be to live with his father and to care for him full time.  He also discusses the ethics involved in making this film given his father’s limited capacity to understand what the film is about and how (and why) he sought to address this problems to share his experiences and to raise awareness about families affected by dementia.

 

The show:

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-trouble-with-dad

 

Selected reviews:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2017/02/20/trouble-dad-laughter-rang-hollow-david-baddiels-frank-family/

https://inews.co.uk/essentials/culture/television/trouble-dad-david-baddiels-searing-honesty-alzheimers-will-help-others/

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/feb/21/the-trouble-with-dad-review-david-baddiel