Family Viewing (1987) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Van's father, Stan, is fond of video, always taping scenes of daily family life. But he does not take care of Van's grandmother, Armen. Although he could afford having her at home, she is spending her days watching TV in an old people's home. Van often visits her. He meets Aline, whose mother is in the next bed. Van wants to get his grandma out of the old people's home. Aline will help. Actually, Van, whose mother left, years ago, is looking for a real family life.

  • Stan, who has long worked in the video equipment business and who has a penchant for using the equipment himself, Stan's soon to be eighteen year old son Van, and Stan's younger lover Sandra, who arguably is a kept woman, live together in a starkly decorated condo in the city. When the three are together, their usual routine is to watch television or a video together. When Stan isn't there, Sandra and Van, unknown to Stan, sometimes engage in a sexual relationship in an emotional need. Stan's wife/Van's mother deserted the family some time ago. Stan has since placed his mother-in-law, Armen, in a second rate care facility. Stan and Sandra refuse to have anything to do with bedridden Armen who no longer speaks, while Van routinely visits her, the two of them quietly watching television together. As Van enters the adult world trying to find his place in life, he wishes that Armen was under their direct care. At the facility, Van strikes up a casual acquaintanceship with Aline, the daughter of one of Armen's roommates. Aline does not divulge her job to Van as a telephone sex operator, it which does not allow her either to care for her ailing mother on her own or house her in a better facility, she already a few months behind in payments to the facility. Van stumbles upon an issue at home and an issue at the care facility which leads to a few revelations about why his family is the way that it is, and believing there being an opportunity to provide a better life for Armen than what Stan is providing. Much of what happens is dependent upon Aline and her feelings concerning what Van wants in light of her own mother.



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