Israeli filmmaker Taliya Finkel helmed this strange personal documentary about a bizarre feud that tore apart her family. Finkel’s father, who was born in Ukraine and immigrated to Israel in 1973, passed away in 2001 after years of poor health. The elder Finkel was diagnosed as being schizophrenic, but he spoke with great lucidity for years that the man who claimed to be brother was actually a KGB agent.
Finkel, accompanied by an Israeli private investigator, tries to find evidence in Israel that the uncle is a spy (they don’t), and they travel to Ukraine to confirm her father’s insistence that his real brother died in a Ukrainian prison and was replaced by a look-alike imposter (again, they don’t).
“Over My Dad’s Body” goes out of the way to give Finkel’s father the benefit of a doubt, but there is ample evidence to show that he was an obstreperous individual with a frayed grip on reality. A great deal of footage shows Finkel’s parents arguing about her father’s bad manners – the couple divorced, but the filmmaker’s father came to visit several times a day for food and money. The enigmatic uncle refused to participate in this film – his face is digitally obscured – and it is hard to imagine how this man felt to be the center of this fairly weird and potentially libelous endeavor.