May 16, 2004 in Nation/World

Kerry’s daughter makes Vietnam-vet film

Angela Doland Associated Press

CANNES, France – The eldest daughter of U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry came to the Cannes Film Festival with a short movie about a 9-year-old girl and her father’s difficult return home from the Vietnam War.

Alexandra Kerry, 30, who has made four short films, showed “The Last Full Measure” on Saturday. The movie is not competing for prizes.

The 15-minute film paints a dreamlike portrait of a girl having trouble coping with her father’s return from Vietnam.

It shows a man ravaged by war – he sleeps a lot, needs a shave and his hands shake so badly at dinner that he spills wine down the front of his shirt.

The movie is a tender portrait of father and daughter: He is attentive and affectionate as his doting daughter follows him around. But beyond the father-daughter relationship, the movie is not autobiographical, said Kerry, whose father is a Vietnam veteran.

“I wasn’t born when my father came back from Vietnam,” she said. “The characters are fictional, completely.”

Though the movie is set in the Vietnam era, Kerry said she wanted it to seem timeless.

“I also tried to give it a little bit of a surrealist feeling, in the sense that I wanted it to be something that was about any war,” she said.

Kerry said her father hasn’t seen the movie yet. “I’m sort of blackmailing him,” she said. “I won’t let him see it until he sees it in a cinema. I didn’t want to show it on a little computer screen.”

The filmmaker is one of Kerry’s daughters from his marriage with Julia Thorne. A younger daughter, Vanessa, is a medical student who took time off from Harvard to work on the campaign.

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