Film Screening

In conjunction with our Art of Social Change: Child Welfare, Education, and Juvenile Justice course, the Child Advocacy Program is screening the 82-minute documentary:

"Family Affair"
by Chico Colvard

Thursday, October 7, 2010
5:00 - 7:00 PM
Austin West in Austin Hall
Harvard Law School

Director Chico Colvard's sisters.

About the Film:

Most filmmakers film others.  Chico Colvard turned the camera on himself and his family to create what the Boston Globe called “one of the most psychologically complex movies ever made.”

At 10 years old, Chico Colvard accidentally shot his older sister in the leg. This seemingly random act sparked a chain reaction that exposed secrets, which ultimately shattered his family. Thirty years later, Colvard breaks the veil of secrecy and silence again. As he bravely visits his relatives, what unfolds is a dramatic film that reveals the legacy of abuse and the nature of forgiveness.  The film attempts to understand how children reconcile being the victims of abuse at their parents’ hands with their continued longing for love and family.  The film raises fundamental questions about inter-generational violence and abuse, the legacy of Jim Crowe, the meaning of family, resiliency, and ultimately survival.

The first film acquired by Oprah Winfrey for her new cable channel, “Family Affair” has received critical acclaim.  The filmmaker, Chico Colvard, will be available after the screening to discuss the film, as well as his work more generally on race, law, media, and social change.

Chico Colvard's Mother and Father
Director Chico Colvard's parents.

View the Trailer:


Reviews and Quotes:

“This is one of the most psychologically complex movies ever made about either racial identity or abuse of any kind.”
-- The Boston Globe

“In "Family Affair," first-time helmer Chico Colvard uses enormous sensitivity, as well as a plunderer's gift for seizing the revelatory moment in chronicling his siblings' incestuous plight and his father's crimes. The documentary he has made will shock even the most jaded audiences, disgust many and generate righteous indignation in an era when such sentiments might seem passe; it's a brave film.”
-- Variety

“An incredibly moving testimony to the power of human resilience and an example of the child-like faith that can enable us to move beyond the worst of what can happen to us when we’re vulnerable and small and at the mercy of the custodians that cross our paths. Or live under the same roof with us.”
-- Hammer to Nail

About the Director/Producer Chico Colvard:

Chico was born in Augsburg, Germany, the son of a WWII German‐Jewish mother and African-American father raised in the segregated south of Georgia. After pursuing a career in theatre arts, Chico received his J.D. from Boston College Law School and now teaches “race, law & media” related courses at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is a former Filmmaker-in‐Residence at WGBH, a member of the Producer’s Lab at Firelight Media and former Sundance Institute Creative Producing Fellow. FAMILY AFFAIR is Chico’s feature‐length documentary debut, which premiered in competition at Sundance and has since shown around the world. FAMILY AFFAIR has received Audience and Best Documentary Feature Awards and was the first film acquired by Oprah Winfrey for her new cable channel, OWN. FAMILY AFFAIR was selected by the International Documentary Association to Oscar qualify during the 2010 DocuWeeks Theatrical Showcase in L.A. and NYC.

Seating and RSVP’ing:

Since the film is being screened in conjunction with a course we must give our enrolled Harvard students, auditors, and regular community guests priority seating.  Please note that you might be asked to give up your seat if there is not enough room, however, we hope to be able to accommodate everyone.  To RSVP, complete and submit this short form:

Last modified: June 30, 2015

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