Review: Our American Family

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An unfettered portrait of addiction and its wide-reaching impacts, Our American Family is a gritty documentary that doesn’t hold back.

The film follows a close-knit Philadelphia family in the throes of a battle with addiction, each with their own struggles and histories that inform their day-to-day lives. Raw, direct, and deeply moving in its revealing look at generational addiction, Our American Family grips viewers from the very beginning, seizing their empathy as all members of the family grapple with the turbulence brought on by the disease. You’ll be hard pressed to find such a real, intensive look at the day-to-day effects of addiction as each member of the family bears all. What makes this film stand out from others with similar topics is the focus on each individual’s relationship with both one another and addiction itself, some with more personal experiences with drugs and alcohol while others have been collateral damage. Each member of the family, and in turn their stories, is handled with expert care by filmmakers Hall Adelman and Sean King O’Grady.

Viewers will leave Our American Family feeling as though they have been put through the ringer, the family members having won you over with their brutal honesty and willingness to show the realities of generational addiction. The determination and love of the family’s matriarch in particular touch your heart and inspire. The film is a must-watch to better understand the complicated layers associated with the wide-sweeping disease, informed by those for whom it all is a part of life. 

Our American Family will show next at the 30th Philadelphia Film Festival.

Rating: 5/5

Photo from the Woodstock Film Festival

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