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P.O.V.: Intimate Stranger

Intimate Stranger, by director Alan Berliner, is a lovely biography of Berliner’s grandfather, the late Joseph Cassuto. Cassuto was no one famous, just a much-traveled businessman who died in 1974. But his grandson has taken 15 boxes of papers and memorabilia that Cassuto left behind and made an unconventional, glowing piece of art: As the screen flashes shot after shot of revealing trivia — memos Cassuto wrote, a few foreign stamps he prized, faded photos of him shaking hands with clients — the soundtrack fills with reminiscences of family and friends, none of whom are directly identified. Some loved Cassuto; some hated him. Refreshingly, the filmmaker doesn’t turn Cassuto into a saint, just one interesting, ordinary man. A-

P.O.V.: Intimate Stranger
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