Black Tie: A Son's Journey through the Death and Life of His Father

Written and Performed by Michael Takiff

Directed by Brian Lane Green

Black Tie Trailer

We know our fathers as fathers. Fathers pay the bills, they tell us to do our homework.

But who are they, really?

My dad worked for the same company for 44 years. He lived, I thought, an unremarkable middle-class life. But who was he?

After he died I started asking that question and in Black Tie I find answers.  

He once harbored aspirations. He once had dreams. I look into this ordinary man and discover a hero—for his courage in serving his country during World War II, for his diligence in serving his family day in and day out during the decades that followed.

Black Tie is about ties that bind—ties of family and of place, ties of shared history and inherited history.

Black Tie is about love—love that is no less powerful for being unspoken. My father didn’t tell me he loved me, he didn’t have to. He showed me that he loved me—with a love that was imperfect and incomplete but uninterrupted and unconditional. Because I never told him I loved him, I can only hope he knew my love for him was just as strong if just as flawed.

Black Tie is about my father. But it’s also about everyone’s father. After seeing Black Tie, people start thinking and talking about their own fathers.

Who were these men? What do their children know about them? What will they never know?

© 2018 by Michael Takiff. Headshots by Joe Henson.