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Chicago Encore EngagementFacets Film Dialogue with filmmaker Patrick Wang
IN THE FAMILY
Best First Feature Independent Spirit Awards
"Beautifully written and performed... recalls the social realism of John Cassavetes with long takes in which silence and the faces of those in emotional pain are as potent as words" -Variety
Critics' Pick! "Remarkably fresh and unpredictable" -New York Times
"With an incisive understanding of character, believably naturalistic acting...In the Family proves that smart direction and an innate feeling for one's material trumps potentially precious subject matter" -Village Voice
"Deliberate and marked by uncommon grace, In The Family manages to feel politically and culturally acute without ever resorting to melodrama" -Los Angeles Times
"There isn't a moment that lacks that rarely touched level of cinematic intimacy or sense of happened-upon truth... The film bears a unique distinctness even as Wang's creative energy parallels some of the same essences as the work of Abbas Kiarostami, John Cassavetes, and Kelly Reichardt" -Slant Magazine
"What a courageous first feature this is, a film that sidesteps shopworn stereotypes and tells a quiet, firm, deeply humanist story" -Roger Ebert
"In the Family is extraordinary, and it casts a spell on the big screen that can't be reproduced in your living room" -Chicago Reader
½ "[The film] proceeds at its own calm but effective pace and leads to a very full emotional finale" -Chicago Tribune
"Strikingly nuanced" -TimeOut Chicago
In his remarkably assured directorial debut, Patrick Wang revitalizes the world of independent American film with In the Family, which delivers a heartfelt story woven around child custody, "two-Dad" families, parental loss, and interracial relations. The film opens with the daily routines of an ordinary family in Tennessee, where Joey (Patrick Wang) and Cody (Trevor St. John) are raising their precocious son Chip. The narrative shifts after tragedy forces Joey to raise his son alone and Joey's grief is compounded when he discovers that Cody's sister has been granted custody of Chip. This unforeseen legality unravels Joey's tenuous acceptance in Cody's family, which becomes further complicated by racial distrust.
Wang patiently interweaves flashback sequences that reveal the complex nature of Cody's relationship with Joey, their relationship with Cody's family, and Joey's relationship
to his orphaned past. The legal system, social prejudice, U.S. Southern culture, queer sociality, and interracial love are just some of the major topics underlying the dense narrative of Wang's masterpiece. However, they are never explicitly addressed nor incorporated into a politics of identity and civil rights but rather framed as a part of our complex everyday reality. In the Family is respectful to its characters and their way of living through the unexpected happenings of their life.
Directed by Patrick Wang, U.S.A., 2011, 169 mins.
Facets Film Dialogue
Filmmaker Patrick Wang will be here in person for a Q&A on Sunday, September 9th