'The Family I Had: Special Edition'
(Blu-ray / NR / 2018 / Filmrise - MVD Visual)
Overview: In 'The Family I Had', a mother recalls how her brilliant teenage son came to shatter their idyllic family through one horribly violent and shocking act.
Blu-ray Verdict: This film / documentary is harrowing of that please be aware going in. It will astonish you and make you cry nearly every step of the way and yet is one of the most grippingly powerful documentaries I think I've sat through in quite a while.
Documentarian team Carlye Rubin and Katie Green's second feature began as an inquiry into the juvenile justice system, but they quickly felt the pull of a much more personal story.
Ergo, this haunting and thought-provoking documentary tells the tale of an inmate whom they were following that had been sentenced to 40 years for the brutal murder of his little sister. He was just 13 at the time.
What 'The Family I Had' brings to us as insight is how such an impossible situation was created, placing an innocent family in the middle of such a tragic, and nonsensical murder of one of their underage siblings - by another.
The documentary follows three characters; the grandmother and matriarch of the family; Paris, the murderer himself, with morbidly calm interviews from maximum security; and Charity, a single mother who was left to reconcile the mourning of her daughter with her desperate need to protect the only child she had left.
Not falling, purposely, into the trap of trying to provide concocted closure where there can be none what it actually does is provide us with a visual, and highly complex study of grief, juvenile punishment (rather than rehabilitation), and the lengths people will go to restore a family. This is a Widescreen presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of: