USA, 2017 (MIFF 2017, True Crime)
Director: Carlye Rubin,Katie Green
'Something special … one of the most harrowing portrayals of the self-destructive and tentative self-restoration of a southern American family this side of a William Faulkner novel.' – The Young Folks
It's hard to overstate the emotional chaos at the heart of Charity Lee's life. A working-class woman afflicted by bad family and worse men, in 2007 her eldest son, a prodigiously intelligent 13-year-old named Paris, savagely murdered his four-year-old half-sister, Ella. He's been in prison ever since but the scars of such calamity will never dull, and even a decade on the relationship between mother and son is one marked by pain, fear and the unquenchable fire of a mother's love.
Filmmakers Katie Green and Carlye Rubin tell a twisting story of tragedy, trust and the blurry lines of truth with compassion and insight in The Family I Had. Expertly crafting a film determined to understand the incomprehensible, Green and Rubin draw out the remarkable strands of Charity and Paris' lives, offering a powerful portrait of two tormented souls and the ways they try to pull meaning from the madness.
'Engrossing ... a shockingly relatable film that exists in the grey area between guilt and innocence.' – Observer