I'm not a pipe smoker and the only two pipe smokers that come to mind are Sherlock Holmes and General Douglas MacArthur. Yet, I found this quiet documentary, directed by Chad Terpstra, to be quite informative and interesting. It mostly centers on the world renowned pipe maker Lee von Erck, an artisan whose dedication and devotion to pipe making comes through loud and clear during the film. Von Erck, whose personality is quite engaging, works alone in his shop in Northern Michigan and reflects on the influence his father had on him, and as this doc goes on it will be a recurrent theme of other master pipe makers whose father's greatly influenced them in their craft. We'll meet "Mimmo", based out of Taggia, Italy, who is not only a pipe maker but has become a specialist in cutting briar wood, from the white heath tree there, and is the main supplier to von Erck. He also has become a friend to him. Additionally, Mimmo's wife Karin and their children add a congenial atmosphere when they're on screen. As mentioned, they'll be visits with other noted pipe makers around the globe, and it's easy to pick up how important it is for them to maintain the traditions of excellent craftsmanship handed down from their fathers. Also, there's a segment re the Native American tribes in North America, considered to be the originators of the pipe, and who have used it for centuries for ceremonial purposes. There is no mention of the dangers to one's health by smoking a pipe in the film. Also, English subtitles are only available in certain segments in the doc and they have very small lettering. I was able to obtain additional subtitles through my closed caption option. Overall, knowing nothing about pipe making when I began this film, I was able to get a good sense of how it's done, and how important a craft it is for these global artisans.
Father the Flame
Father the Flame
For centuries, the tobacco pipe has been a symbol of contentment and contemplation. Through the window of this transcendental artifact and its sacred origins, Father the Flame is a ...
December 12, 2020