Shortly after his separation, Cesar forms a rock band with his teenage sons. Soon enough, the family project will reveal itself unsustainable. The film is about the difficult bond between parents and children and the world of amateur rock bands.
Family Album is the International Feature submission for Uruguay. The film is centred around Manuel, a teenager just out of high school, and his younger brother Agustin, who are both moving away from their mom’s house to go live with their dad. The two of them are musically gifted and since their dad, Cesar, was a fantastic bass player in the 1990s, they feel that they’ll be able to work on their talents with the guidance of their father.
Cesar just bought a work office as an investment property and for the mean time the three of them create this living area as their home. But more importantly this sanctuary has become their space to practice their music, write lyrics to songs, and play as a band. Despite the pressures from his mother to complete his engineering studies, Manuel decides to form his own band. Along with Agustin, he’s also asked Eli, a talented singer, his best friend Rafa, and even his dad to be a part of his group. Together they’ve named themselves High Fidelity, and soon enough they’ve found their first gig. But as Manuel discovers that this is what he wants to do for a living, tensions begin to arise between his mother, who thinks he should become an engineer, and with his father, who tries to take control of the band.
With a skateboard, a headphone, and a notepad always with him, Manuel’s love for music begins to take shape inside of him. His inner most thoughts start to form itself in the way of lyrics as he writes his first song. His talent as a guitarist enables him to produce a melody that’s an instant hit. Everything else around him has become irrelevant. He thinks about his vocation from the moment he wakes up to the moment that he goes to bed. Life is music and he won’t have it any other way.
Family Album explores the creation of music from the first chord, as well as exploring the ups and downs that go with it. There’s no instant success in this industry. The instabilities that comes with this profession is insurmountable and only a few make it. Cesar, for example, had created a successful band but had to give it up. He’s just one of millions that failed. Sleeping on couches, re-writing lyrics, re-configuring melodies, fighting for spots at nightclubs, and trying to be better than the other upcoming bands has become Manuel’s world. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.
As Manuel signs up for his first audition at a highly competitive school, where only a few are admitted, his first strokes on a guitar could be the start of a magical dream.