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Nathaniel Kahn

Nathaniel Kahn
Sue Ann Kahn
I.M. Pei
Priscilla Pattison
Edwina Pattison Daniels

Release: 12 Nov. 03

My Architect: A Son's Journey


Struggling to understand the enigma that is his father, Nathaniel Kahn goes through the achievements of his dadís lifetime. For most sons this might be a few nights with old documents, clippings, and personal memories. Kahn, however, has buildings to regard -- heís the son of Louis I. Kahn.

I respect what Kahn wants to do with his film, My Architect: A Sonís Journey, but I wonder if itís really worth turning into a movie. Some stories of father-son estrangement and understanding can make wonderful films, but this one is built on a distance that isnít particularly salvageable, even if Kahn travels around the world to look at these buildings. I even fancy myself a connoisseur of fine architecture, but watching people walk around these deserted buildings, long after their prime, isnít particularly how I like to spend my afternoon screenings.

I desperately hope that Nathaniel Kahn gained an understanding of his father by making this film, and that what he learned will be useful in his own relations with his children. I just wish I hadnít been forced to sit through this person struggle that plays out like an extended Dateline NBC special

©2004, David Perry,, 5 March 2004