“Daddy“– the first movie of artist Niki de Saint Phalle
Working on her first movie “Daddy” could be regarded as a milestone for Niki de Saint Phalle’s life.
Until that very moment, she only dreamt of shooting a movie. With unleashing energy she started filming in the early 1970s. Saint Phalle’s movie is facing taboos and discusses very intimate, personal and private events – with a special focus on the issue of sexual abuse through the father. She provokes by denouncing and ridiculing man’s role in society with his privilege of power to dominate and control. Her instruments are: game, costume and surreal plateaus on which the unconsciousness is playing a dominant role. Many motives of her artistic practice also appear in her movie, for instance the monster, the mothers and the central theme of shooting.
Working on “Daddy” was an attempt to create a new dimension of energy, expression and joy – again through a transformation of the experienced suffering. However, the catharsis in a psychological sense was not achieved – Niki de Saint Phalle broke down after the completion of the movie. From that moment on, she decided to give up the exhausting adventure of shooting a movie and rather dedicating herself with even more passion to her sculptures. Until today this movie is an outstanding and a deeply admired work of de Saint Phalle –highly respected from artists and cineastes as well as from sociologists and psychologists.
Peter Schamoni was the co-producer for the movie Daddy (1973), directed by Niki de Saint Phalle and Peter Whitehead. The photo’s were shot at the flmset and some were handcoloured by Niki de Saint Phalle.