Family is a documetary I wrote, directed and produced over a period of 5 years. It has just been accepted into the Respect Human Rights Film Festival in Belfast this March.
Family is the story of two sisters whose fates are irrevocably entwined; Nina, a woman severely sexually-abused as a child and teenager by her brother-in-law, and Nicky, her older sister who is married to the abuser. The film questions what taking care of your family really means, exploring the very complex nature of abuse within the family unit, and how entrenched and cyclical it is.
The film brings these two sisters together after years of estrangement, and intimately portrays their conflicting notions of forgiveness and familial love, and their very different ways of dealing with the scars of the past.
Forgiveness takes on the central theme, the main question posed by the film being “How does one forgive?” or “Can one forgive?” such terrible crimes.
The conflict in the film comes from the very different versions of events that the two sisters have of the past, and their completely differing ideologies. The central question of the film is an exploration of how we can forgive such terrible violations committed against us, and whether or not forgiveness is a necessary part of healing.
This is a very personal story, the story of my family, my mother, and it is also about the generations of family affected by these events.
It can be difficult to understand the complexities of these issue unless you have lived it, or lived with the survivor. I have had insight and access into this story as it is my mother’s story, my family’s story and unequivocally my story, and I believe that this level of intimacy and sensitivity translates onto the screen.
This is the link to the festival my film will screen at in March
This is the vimeo link for the trailer.
Written by Marryanne Christodoulou