7.4/10
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3 user 9 critic

Family Affair (2010)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Family | 7 January 2010 (USA)
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At 10 years old, Chico Colvard accidentally shot his older sister in the leg. This seemingly random act detonated a chain reaction that exposed unspeakable realities and shattered his ... See full summary »

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At 10 years old, Chico Colvard accidentally shot his older sister in the leg. This seemingly random act detonated a chain reaction that exposed unspeakable realities and 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. 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 ... Written by Anonymous

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7 January 2010 (USA)  »

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Powerful , frustrating, fascinating.
9 March 2015 | by (Boston MA) – See all my reviews

I watched this film, and couldn't believe what i was seeing. This film is such a brave, and transparent probe into incest and domestic violence. It is uncomfortable , it is frustrating, it is agonizing at times, and it's remarkable. The sisters are so unhealthy in this film, so fractured. If I knew where they lived, I would call child protective services on one of them. They are such a dramatic, and at the same time, perfect example of the effects of childhood abuse. The mother in this film, is obviously the healthiest of the bunch, (besides the filmmaker) is ostracized by her children, for having to leave them and their stubborn refusal to get healthy or heal themselves. Which happens so often in abusive situations. The children refuse to turn their backs on the abuser and the battered wife and mother literally is driven mad by the insanity and betrayal of that, and gives up her kids so that she can survive and have a chance at life without being attached to the abuser. I applaud this mans heroic film, and his humility. To allow all of us to see the insanity that he is surrounded with. Like his mother, because he is sane, he is alone. It was heartbreaking to watch his family members almost scold him, for not being a part of their disasters for not wanting to have a relationship with his horribly abusive father who also raped his sisters for years. This movie should be required viewing at all domestic violence shelters and for all victims of incest. This is such a difficult film, but for it's teaching moments , it's so beautiful. I wanted to yell at the screen, so many times, to reach out and grab the film makers hand, and tell him, don't listen to this. It's insane. Don't be in this, it's insane. Get away, get far far, away. His sisters are a bleak bunch. Without extensive therapy, or any resources, they are a very sad example of incest victims left to their own devices, without any healing, or help. I think every victim of abuse should watch this film, and anyone who is interested in psychology or helping people or victims of domestic violence and incest. This is a very typical, very raw and informative drama about very typical responses to abuse and PTSD caused by it. This is a great film, for many reasons, but most of all, because rarely has anyone been able to see into the lives of victims, and the aftermath of abuse. For the filmmaker - stick with mom. She's got the right idea. Even if she is born again. A+.


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