Film Review: 'My Architect'

Nathaniel Kahn, son of architect Louis Kahn, poignantly searches for his father through the work left behind by the mysterious builder.
November 15, 2003, 7am PST | David Gest
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"[T]he great architect Louis Kahn died of a heart attack in 1974, bankrupt and alone in the men's room at Pennsylvania Station, [leaving] behind a shadowy private life and a few luminous buildings of lasting beauty...Kahn's only son...set out to discover the man he glimpsed only fleetingly in childhood. The result is this remarkable film, an inspired homage to his father's work, and a bracing, bittersweet testament of filial love mixed with pain and compassion...Visiting his father's masterpieces and grappling with his failures (his thwarted plans to build a synagogue in Jerusalem, for example, or to rebuild Philadelphia's downtown), the son sheds light on an elusive personality, as singular and strangely isolated as his greatest works -— a creative visionary, unable (or unwilling) to negotiate the demands of business and family life. And each interview with the women and children he disappointed lays bare the wounds time will not heal."

Thanks to David Gest

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Published on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 in The Village Voice
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