Directed by Chico Colvard
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.
THE FILMMAKER: Chico Colvard was born in Augsburg, Germany, the son of a WWII German-Jewish mother and African-American father raised in the segregated south of Georgia. After pursuing a career in theatre arts, Chico received his J.D. from Boston College Law School and now teaches “race, law & media” related courses at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is a former Filmmaker-in-Residence at WGBH in Boston, a member of the Producer’s Lab at Firelight Media and former Sundance Institute Creative Producing Fellow. Family Affair is Chico’s feature length documentary debut, which premiered in competition at Sundance and has since shown at festivals, theaters and campuses around the world. Family Affair has received funding from LEF, The Color of Film, Vital Projects Fund and the Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media. The film has received awards for Best Documentary Feature and was the first film acquired by Oprah Winfrey for her new cable channel, OWN. Recently, Family Affair was selected by the IDA to Oscar qualify during the 2010 DocuWeeks Showcase in L.A. and NYC.