Chico Colvard

FAMILY AFFAIR (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Article: FAMILY AFFAIR (U.S. Documentary Competition)

FAMILY AFFAIR (U.S. Documentary Competition)

It makes sense that Chico Colvard’s first-person documentary was picked up by OWN, Oprah Winfrey’s new cable network, given the surface parallels with last year’s Oprah-endorsed Sundance hit PRECIOUS. As a little boy, the filmmaker accidentally shot one of his sisters in the leg and, in so doing, blew the lid on a family secret. His father, an African American former GI who grew up in segregated Mississippi, had been sexually abusing his three sisters for years, unbeknownst to their mother, a German Jew. At first glance, FAMILY AFFAIR seems like yet another dysfunctional-family home movie, but it’s willing to ask some unexpectedly tough questions about abuse and its aftermath.