The Family I Had

Directed by: Katie Green & Carlye Rubin
USA | 77 minutes
uk-premiere
best-documentary-feature
Screenings
Vue West End (Leicester Square)
Sat 23rd Sep 17:30
Q&A with Katie Green, Carlye Rubin

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Vue West End (Leicester Square)
Fri 29th Sep 15:15

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You cannot choose your family, but sometimes you are forced to. When Charity Bennett’s 13-year-old son Paris intentionally killed her 4-year-old daughter Ella, she was forced into a horrific dilemma of betraying her dead girl by forgiving her guilty boy. This inexplicable tragedy is investigated by directors Katie Green and Caryle Rubin, the aftermath and prologue to the crime spiralling out from the centre, the fractured survivors coping with this rupture to their unit.
What first seems like an arbitrary, if devastating, crime is slowly revealed to have a complex history. Paris’ mother had a heroin addiction, his father schizophrenia, and his grandmother was also accused of murder. But the individual failings of this family are cause for sympathy, not scorn. By the end, you only want them to heal from this inconceivable tragedy. Even Paris, raised in prison since he was 13, understands and acknowledges his crime.
As the title suggests, The Family I Had is concerned with the burden of family, and of the past. The interlocking, multifaceted layers of family trauma reach the heights of Greek tragedy. Charity darky jokes how even Achilles “was killed by Paris”. But this family’s survival against trauma may overcome even him.
Bruno Savill De Jong
Runtime
77
Cast
Charity
Paris
Ella
Kyla
Country
USA
Director(s)
Katie Green
Carlye Rubin
Writer(s)
Katie Green
Producer(s)
Katie Green
Carlye Rubin
Executive Producer(s)
Anna Godas
Julie Goldman
Carolyn Hepburn
Chris Clements
Marc Abrams
Screening Status
UK Premiere