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Family Affair


At 10 years old, Chico Colvard shot his older sister in the leg. This seemingly random act detonated a chain reaction that exposed unspeakable realities and shattered his family. Thirty years later, Colvard ruptures veils of secrecy and silence again. As he bravely visits his relatives, what unfolds is a personal film that’s as uncompromising, raw, and cathartic as any in the history of the medium.

Driving the story forward is Colvard’s sensitive probing of a complex dynamic: the way his three sisters survived severe childhood abuse by their father and, as adults, manage to muster loyalty to him. These unforgettable, invincible women paint a picture of their harrowing girlhoods as they resiliently struggle with present-day fallout. The distance time gives them from their trauma yields piercing insights about the legacy of abuse, the nature of forgiveness, and eternal longing for family and love. These truths may be too searing to bear, but they reverberate powerfully within each of us.


Learn more about FAMILY AFFAR: 

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The Filmmakers

Chico Colvard Producer, Director, Writer

After graduating from Law School, Chico Colvard pursued a career in corporate litigation and later, the field of education. For several years, Chico has offered courses at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, which examine his interests in "Race, Law & Media." FAMILY AFFAIR is his feature-length documentary debut and had its worldwide premiere in competition at Sundance. Chico is a former Filmmaker-in-Residence at WGBH in Boston, a member of the Producer’s Lab at Firelight Media and Sundance Institute Creative Producing Fellow. He is also the recipient of numerous grants, including the LEF Moving Image Fund and Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media.

Festivals & Awards

Sundance Film Festival


Official Selection

Independent Film Festival Boston


Winner - Audience Award

Hot Docs International Film Festival


Official Selection


This is one of the most psychologically complex movies ever made about either racial identity or abuse of any kind.”

-Boston Globe

A fascinatingly raw study of ferociously wielded male power.”

-The New York Times

In "Family Affair," first-time helmer Chico Colvard uses enormous sensitivity, as well as a plunderer's gift for seizing the revelatory moment in chronicling his siblings' incestuous plight and his father's crimes. ”


An incredibly moving testimony to the power of human resilience”