Anthology Film Archives


June 6 – June 20

Even though the medium of film enabled people to document themselves and their families with comparative affordability as early as the 1920s, it wasn’t until midcentury that the idea of autobiographical filmmaking began to move outside of the home. Beginning in the avant-garde, with key works like Gunvor Nelson’s MY NAME IS OONA, Stan Brakhage’s WINDOW WATER BABY MOVING, and the ongoing filmic diaries of Jonas Mekas, the first-person family film subsequently took root in the documentary world, with groundbreaking films such as Joyce Chopra’s JOYCE AT 34 (1972) and Alfred Guzzetti’s FAMILY PORTRAIT SITTINGS (1974). Over the succeeding decades, as nonfiction filmmaking became more viable, innumerable works followed that brought directors’ relatives in front of the camera for public consumption. Many years and formats later, the “family film” is fully established as its own category, one that’s been around long enough to have its own set of rules and clichés. This series gathers together numerous films that exemplify the adventurousness of the sub-genre as it originally developed: films that take formal, conceptual, and ethical risks in their explorations of the ties that bind.

Guest-curated by Brian Belovarac, who also wrote the introduction and most of the film and program descriptions.

“Home Movies” is co-presented by Third World Newsreel (

Special thanks to all the filmmakers, as well as Livia Bloom Ingram & Bob Hunter (Icarus Films); Antonella Bonfanti (Canyon Cinema); Kitty Cleary (MoMA); Boris Eustache; Kristen Fitzpatrick (Women Make Movies); Marian Luntz & Tracy Stephenson (Museum of Fine Arts Houston); Hannah Prouse (British Film Institute); Roselly A. Torres Rojas & Eugene Lee (Third World Newsreel); and Elena Rossi-Snook (New York Public Library for the Performing Arts).

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