Based on the true story of a famous New Zealand inventor and his son, a great collect of art objects from the South Pacific, Pierre Furlan creates a fiction playing with an extraordinary familial destiny.
On the one hand the father, who left England at seventeen, a self-taught man gifted in everything, including sport and the arts, who made his fortune at a very young age by inventing the wavy hairpin at the time when these pins were smooth. His son, Will Bodmin, crushed by such an inheritance, will only be able to assert himself against the inventor. He’ll fail just about anywhere his father wants him to go. Fleeing New Zealand to return to England, where he will seem to live almost on the fringes of society. Even though he doesn’t seem very well-balanced, he will pretend to heal others and will become an art therapist and Jungian psychoanalyst. And this strange, oblique struggle, which forces him to take unbelievable, often comical postures, will nevertheless lead him to produce a quite exceptional work, a collection that will make history in his country. Thus, in this opposition between generations, it is perhaps the father’s conquering and colonialist values that end up appearing in a less glorious light. Here we follow exemplary and gripping lives where we see the English Parliament voting a goat retreat for Captain Cook, a photographer chasing ghosts, a nun rejected from her convent because she eats too much, the hunt for a rare 19th century pamphlet that should consecrate the collector’s glory, without omitting a few squeaky and funny love adventures—all with the discreet irony that goes so well with this kind of story.