An Oscar-winning cinematographer, occasional director, inveterate leftist, and longtime philanderer, Haskell Wexler seems a hard man to love. That’s obviously been true for his son, Mark Wexler, who made the stylistically pedestrian but ultimately affecting Tell Them Who You Are to crack the mystery of their strained father-son relationship. The elder Wexler turns combative in the documentary’s very first shot, raising the fear that 95 minutes with him will be about 85 too many. Yet the nuances of Wexler’s character are gradually revealed, partly by him but also by such Hollywood pals as directors George Lucas and Irvin Kershner, cinematographer and commercial-making partner Conrad L. Hall, and that expert in remote fathers, Jane Fonda. One thing soon becomes clear: Better a Mark Wexler film about his cranky father than a Haskell Wexler film about his bland son. The younger man followed Dad into cinematography and documentary, even while defining himself in opposition to his father’s politics. Rather than a rightist, however, Mark seems to be more of a careerist. While pleased to torment his pop with a photo of himself with George H.W. Bush—the result of a documentary he made about Air Force One—Mark doesn’t offer any alternative to Haskell’s radicalism except timidity. He revisits his father’s most controversial works, most of them from the Vietnam era, including Coming Home and Introduction to the Enemy, as well the two films Haskell directed, Medium Cool and Latino. But Mark is more interested in Dad’s delusions of grandeur than his support for student radicals and Third World guerrillas; he favors episodes like the one that pits Haskell’s theory about why he was fired from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest—FBI harassment—against producer Michael Douglas and director Milos Forman’s insistence that the cinematographer had to go because he was just impossible. Eventually, warm encounters with Hall, Fonda, and Mark’s mother—the second of Haskell’s three wives—reveal the heart beating within the curmudgeon. As for the needy and somewhat dull Mark—well, you can see why his father is exasperated with him. —Mark Jenkins