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In A Dream (DVD Review)

28 Sep, 2009 By: Angelique Flores

Street Date 9/29/09

Box Office $0.05 million
$26.95 DVD
Not rated.

Isaiah Zagar is a mosaic artist whose murals are prominently covered on buildings in his South Philadelphia neighborhood.

He suffers with mental instability, (he attempts suicide at age 29) and obsesses over his art, which often includes his wife Julia’s likeness or name. She is the stable, warm, giving one of the two. And though different, Isaiah and Julia balance each out. They have a great love and a bond that seems untouchable. As Julia puts it, “I was his reality base, and he was my bird. He flew around.”

They have to sons, Ezekiel and Jeremiah, and for years are living a dream.

After their two sons grow up and move out to start their own lives, Isaiah starts to retreat and isolate himself.

As Ezekial’s 10-year marriage falls apart, putting him into a rehabilitation center, Isaiah and Julia’s 42-year marriage begins to crumble. Isaiah admits to having an affair with his assistant, and Julia’s world is shattered. After she kicks him out, Isaiah realizes his mistake now that he doesn’t have his Julia.

After the fallout, the couple work to try to mend their broken marriage.

In a Dream is directed by Jeremiah, who interviews his parents. The Zagars’ story is told through intimate and honest interviews with Isaiah and Julia, as well as through old video footage, photos and drawings. The film has beautifully shot scenes of Isaiah’s art and him working on him, and it uses Isaiah’s sketches as animation for certain brief segments of the film.

Special features include the short films “Paints on Ceiling,” about Isaiah as an artist; “Coney Island, 1945,” written and directed by Jeremiah about Isaiah’s childhood memory of Coney Island; and “Recommitment,” about Julia and Isaiah’s recommitment to each other. Other bonus materials include the music video “Cutting Ice to Snow” by Efterklang, deleted scenes that delve further into Isaiah’s work, and an alternate ending that shows Julia and Isaiah back together and happy again.

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