The movie Thy Father’s Chair brings audiences into the world of Abraham and Shraga, Orthodox Jewish twins who live a secluded existence in their inherited Brooklyn home. Since the death of their parents, they have stopped throwing away anything, hosting stray cats and accumulating all sorts of stuff. Enraged by the situation, the upstairs tenant threatens to stop paying them rent unless they proceed with a radical cleaning of their apartment, forcing Abraham and Shraga to open their doors to a specialized cleaning company.
What ensues seems, at first, a traumatic invasion of privacy, with the twins fighting to preserve their memories. But little by little, the relationship with the head of the cleaning company begins to deepen — and by painfully separating from most of their belongings, Abraham and Shraga discover a path to a new life.
Influenced by the cinema of verite masters Frederick Wiseman and Albert and David Maysles, co-directors Antonio Tibaldi and Alex Lora make use of a “camera work [that] is careful and deeply human, making Shraga’s and Abraham’s house a place from which we can’t move our eyes. By the end of the film, the twins are pushed to find new solutions to many unanswered questions: how free are you within the boundaries of your heritage? How do you begin to let go of the past and live your life in the present? How do you confront the loss of your parents and become responsible for yourself?