New York Times – Critics’ Pick: “… in a field [of docs] becoming more crowded by the year, Family Affair emerges as one of its more complex and unsettling examples.”
Filmmaker Magazine hails the film as “emotionally wrenching in the extreme and observant of a milieu that just about never gets represented in cinema. Chico Colvard’s FAMILY AFFAIR is a small revelation.”
At 10 years old, filmmaker, Chico Colvard, accidentally shot his sister in the leg. This random act detonated a chain reaction that exposed unspeakable realities that shattered his family. Thirty years later, Colvard ruptures veils of secrecy and silence again. As he bravely visits his relatives, what unfolds is a personal film that’s as uncompromising, raw, and cathartic as any in the history of the medium. A story that yields piercing insights about the legacy of abuse and attempts to understand one’s capacity to accommodate a parent’s past crimes in order to satisfy an eternal longing for family.
Driving the story forward is Colvard’s sensitive probing of a complex dynamic: the way his three sisters survived severe childhood abuse by their father and, as adults, manage to muster loyalty to him. These unforgettable, invincible women paint a picture of their harrowing girlhoods as they resiliently struggle with present-day fallout. The distance time gives them from their trauma yields piercing insights about the legacy of abuse, the nature of forgiveness, and eternal longing for family and love. These truths may be too searing to bear, but they reverberate powerfully within each of us.
Chico Colvard received his J.D. from Boston College Law School. He is a Lecturer and Founding Film Series Curator at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. His award-winning documentary, FAMILY AFFAIR, premiered at Sundance and has broadcast on the Oprah Winfrey Network: OWN and other cable channels around the world. He is a Sundance Creative Producing Fellow, Firelight Media Producing Fellow and Filmmaker-in-Residence at WGBH. He received funding from the Ford Foundation, LEF Moving Image Fund, Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media and Vital Projects Fund. A frequent guest speaker at colleges and universities, moderator, film festival panelist and former juror at Full Frame, Silverdocs and IFFBoston. His new film, BLACK MEMORABILIA, examines the subculture around the collectibles and antiques that serve as reminders of America’s troubled racial past and present. The film is also a portrait of the people who consume, manufacture and assume the identities of these objects.