In this resonant autobiographical work, Su Friedrich combines the formal innovations of experimental filmmaking with the emotional power of narrative to create a compelling account of the highly charged relationship between a father and daughter. Traveling backward from the letter "Z," a young girl tells twenty-six stories which recount memories of a father she both fears and admires. The accompanying images from family vacations and visits to the circus are interlaced with a voiceover that reveals an unbreachable distance, culminating in the father’s betrayal.
Contrasting his travels abroad on film-shooting assignments with his husbandly efforts on the home front, trying unsuccessfully with his wife to have a baby, Robb Moss casts a slyly reflexive glance at the passive role of the non-fiction filmmaker. The Tourist examines his increasing uneasiness with filming people in cultures other than his own and his fear that both his art and his life have become acts of tourism. His solution is to insert the filmmaker as a character into the work and, with humor and poignancy, to begin to particularize and personalize the distant lives he encounters.