The Oprah Winfrey Network or OWN established a Documentary Club, which
is the nonfiction film-equivalent of Oprah's Book Club. It was created
"to spotlight cinematic documentaries that inspire and entertain." One
of the first documentaries OWN purchased was Family Affair,
which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The movie has
played at various venues and festivals in the interim but is only now
debuting to TV viewers as of March 1, 2012.
Family Affair tells the incredible story of three women who were abused as children, abused both physically and sexually. The wrinkle is that they were abused at the hands of their father. The real rub though is that this incestuous and abusive father never served any prison time. He wasn't punished at all and for that matter he had Thanksgiving dinner recently with those now-grown daughters he severely beat, tortured and ultimately raped.
How did this come to pass and why? These are some of the questions posed by Chico David Colvard, the director of this movie, as well as the younger brother of the three abused daughters. Colvard was not himself abused but he has to reconcile the fact that his father was a so-called monster. This is really a journey of understanding of what happened within his fractured family.
It's powerful. It's personal, and it shows the incredible strength of these three women who survived a true horror. As a lawyer and professor, the 40-something filmmaker did not intend for this very intimate and private issue to be broadcast on TV to millions. Colvard merely wanted to hold up a mirror, so that he and his sisters could see who they were as a result of all this. It's similar to Capturing the Friedmans in that regard.
Colvard has discovered that while this seems like a very unique and tragic story, there is some resonance around the country. In that two year interim, Colvard has toured the nation and found much with which to relate and commonality between his family's story and the stories of countless other families.
Five Stars out of Five.
Running Time: 2 hrs.
March 1 at 9PM on OWN.