In the Family
Autumn 2013 wWednesday series
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 7:00pm
Directed by Patrick Wang
Screenplay by Patrick Wang
Starring Lisa Altomare, Trevor St. John, Patrick Wang, and Sebastian Banes
Rated NR ·
In the Family
In the town of Martin, Tennessee, Chip Hines (Sebastian Banes), a precocious six-year-old, has only known life with his two dads, Cody (Trevor St. John) and Joey (Patrick Wang). And a good life it is. When Cody dies suddenly in a car accident, Joey and Chip struggle to find their footing again. Just as they begin to, Cody’s will reveals that he named his sister Eileen (Kelly McAndrew) as Chip’s guardian. This will, written after the death of Cody’s wife and before he met Joey, has never been updated.
The years of Joey’s acceptance into the family unravel as Chip is taken away from him. In his now solitary home life, Joey searches for a solution. The law is not on his side, but friends are. Armed with their comfort and inspired by memories of Cody, Joey finds a path to peace with the family and closer to his son.
Patrick Wang wrote, directed and stars in this film about the meaning of “family”.
“It isn’t in any sense a ‘gay rights’ film, nor is it an ’Asian-American’ film. It is about a father and son who have been separated against their wishes. I was completely absorbed from beginning to end. What a courageous first feature this is, a film that sidesteps shopworn stereotypes and tells a quiet, firm, deeply humanist story about doing the right thing. It is a film that avoids any message or statement and simply shows us, with infinite sympathy, how the life of a completely original character can help us lead our own.” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)
“The premise, concerning adoptive rights in a homophobic society, is unique for button-pushing potential, though Wang’s aims here are political only inasmuch as the political intersects with the moral. With no shortage of confidence, In the Family is remarkable for sidestepping bullet-point statements altogether to instead focus on the day-to-day causes and effects of our prejudices and the regulatory systems (social contracts, employment guidelines, family bonds) we frequently submit ourselves to.” (Rob Humanick, Slant Magazine)
“Mr. Wang’s slow-reveal psychological drama isn’t just a showcase for his excellent ensemble cast. Beautifully modulated and stylistically sui generis, In the Family is also one of the most accomplished and undersold directorial debuts this year. The story is both topical and timeless: a searching, present-tense study of evolving cultural values in the heartland and an unsentimental portrait of a family devastated by the tragedy of an early death.” (Paul Brunick, The New York Times)