Film Review: Our American Family

There are few things more vicious than generation cycles of addiction. They destroy both families and communities. While genetics play a part in this, socialisation, environment and homelife are also huge contributing factors. Children who witness alcohol and drug abuse in the home are more likely to become addicts themselves. Childhood trauma, often caused as a result, has a deep impact on someone’s life chances.

In Our American Family, the new documentary from Hallee Adelman and Sean King O’Grady, one close-knit Philadelphia family allow the cameras into their home. Linda grew up with a mother who was an addict and is determined to give her children (Nicole, Chris and Stephen) better lives. However, her abusive marriage broke down and two of them went off the rails. We follow the family as they struggle to break this chain.

Our American Family is one of the most blunt and intimate documentaries you’re ever likely to see. It’s this access which makes it so absorbing. That and the family’s determination to never shy away from even the most difficult conversations. This is what marks it out from most of its peers. The unrelenting honesty and the determination to avoid melodrama or staged confrontation. Making Our America Family a more thoughtful and nuanced viewing experience.

Our American Family open in NYC (Cinema Village) and LA (Laemmle Monica) on 2 September and then available on VOD in the US and Canada on 6 September.

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