Tobacco Pipe Documentary


By DS • OCT. 12, 2018 • CINE-FILE CHICAGO •

Chad Terpstra’s FATHER THE FLAME (US)
Friday 10/12, 6:30pm and Sunday 10/14, 11:30am
Chad Terpstra’s loving tribute to Michigan master pipe maker Lee Erck and the peculiar niche of smoking pipe obsessives is an utter joy even for those (like myself) who have no interest whatever in the subject. It is a story that touches on Native American, European, and Asian traditions and involves much rumination on craft, spirituality, and community. The quest for the perfect briar wood suitable to make a pipe which will outlive its maker and be passed on and cherished by future generations of smokers seems quixotic, a little bizarre, and often touching, all at the same time. Terpstra can even be forgiven some of the over-the-top graphics which liken the embers and smoke emanating from a pipe to the formation of the universe—he has obviously fallen hook, line, and sinker in love with this weird little subculture and it’s all I could do to keep from falling for it as well. Terpstra and Erck are scheduled to appear at both screenings. (2018, 78 min) DS