During a tense road trip from Toronto to Montreal, an estranged father and daughter come to terms with their frayed relationship as they each limp towards the realization that neither of them is doing okay on their own.
As women, our relationship with our father is one of the most affecting we’ll ever have. We spend our formative years discovering masculinity in whatever form it has presented itself via this person, our dad. We’re forever impressed upon with a smell, a song, and a touch, or lack thereof, that lasts a life time. Accidentals reflects upon the moments in-between the memories we make with our fathers, specifically between one daughter, Sydney, and her father, Darryl. We trace the love between the two, as they reach, with near desperation, to find each other in the middle of a generational and cultural gap neither can seem to bridge while they drive across Ontario.
As grown women, we also spend a significant period of our lives deconstructing the presence that men play in our lives. We make choices about which men or the ‘kind-of men’ we invite into our lives. It can be a confusing time of push and pull. We see this in Sydney, when she accepts her father’s help after suffering a heartbreak, and simultaneously rejects him. Whereas Daryl, who has shown up for his daughter in the best way he knows how, simultaneously chastises her.
We can choose our partners and yes, sometimes our partners don’t choose us back, but our fathers are someone we don’t choose. Amidst her heart break, Sydney is feeling more abandoned than ever before and leaps at the chance to start over in a new city. This stirs up a lot of trauma that feels active and all consuming. Her experience with her dad on the road highlights the emotional elasticity of bond between father and daughter and despite what happens between them, she comes to realize; I have to love you because you’re mine.