blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

The Last Days of Peter Bergmann (2013, Ciaran Cassidy)

A shot from THE LAST DAYS OF PETER BERGMANN, directed by Ciaran Cassidy.

The Last Days of Peter Bergmann is something of a procedural documentary short. A man, using the alias Peter Bergmann, checks into a hotel in an Irish town. A few days later, he is found dead on a nearby beach. Unable to ascertain his identity, the police use CCTV footage from around town, from the hotel, to try to discover something about the person.

Director Cassidy, a few years later, takes that footage, along with interviews of the people who interacted with the man, and cuts together this strange little film. Cassidy weighs it heavy at the end–there’s a reveal of sorts–but Cassidy keeps Last Days very flat.

The police inspector talks about the haunting quality of the man on all the CCTV footage around town–something David Cantan and Jack Quilligan’s music helps emphasize–but Cassidy has no judgement. There’s no metaphor, no thesis, just the unexplainable.

3/3Highly Recommended


Written and directed by Ciaran Cassidy; director of photography, Kate McCullough; edited by John Murphy; music by David Cantan and Jack Quilligan; produced by Morgan Bushe.


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