A documentary that tracks five years and three generations of a Chicago family's life in public housing. The murder of a family member has an immediate impact, but eventually changes them toward a more positive outlook on life in the end.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Alaissa Collins ...
Herself
Marquis Collins ...
Himself
Nickcole Collins ...
Narrator
Terrell Collins ...
Himself (archive footage)
Wanda Collins ...
Herself
Dorothy Jackson ...
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A documentary that tracks five years and three generations of a Chicago family's life in public housing. The murder of a family member has an immediate impact, but eventually changes them toward a more positive outlook on life in the end.

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1 February 2000 (USA)  »

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I klironomia  »

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Cinema verite and a compelling story
15 July 2000 | by See all my reviews

"Legacy" is a basic, well-made film documenting five years of the Collins family. After the shooting of the oldest son, the other family members try to overcome despair, pick up the pieces, then gain inspiration from their deceased loved one and use it to improve their lives. It's a very straightforward film that does an efficient job of presenting the subjects and telling their stories. Apart from the occasional shot of a family photo, we're seeing things in motion. The films covers a breadth of characters, from the motivated Nicole, who is under pressure to go to college and save the family, to her mother who can't commit to a job, to her aunt, struggling to kick a cocaine addiction, to her grandmother, a dedicated parent who has been trying all her life to get away from the projects.

The film makes up for its subjects' weak powers of verbal articulation both by capturing their physical language--facial expressions, hand and body movements, and vocal tones--and with a voiceover (delivered by Nicole) that is very effective but a bit overworked.

All in all, "Legacy" is full of drama, humor, and is simple understated documentary storytelling at its best. We do get a few accidental (and amusing) glimpses of the camera crew, but it's not nearly enough to endanger the reality of this compelling and moving drama.


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