In My Father’s House

IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE explores identity and legacy in the African-American family, as Grammy award-winning rapper Che 'Rhymefest' Smith and his long-lost father reconnect and try to build a new future in Chicago's turbulent South Side. Himself a child of a broken home, Che hasn't seen his father, Brian, in over 20 years, and presumes him dead. But after buying his father's childhood home, Che sets out to find him, and learns that his is now a homeless alcoholic living only several blocks away/ The film offers a probing take on memory and identity in a family two generations removed from slavery as it tracks Che and Brian's shared journey to create a new legacy for themselves, their community and the next generation of family.

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  • ★★★★ review by Jason Bailey on Letterboxd

    Rapper and writer Che “Rhymefest” Smith and his wife were looking to buy a home in Chicago when they found the house his father — who’d abandoned him as a child — lived in. They bought it, and then discovered (in a twist so neat a screenwriter would be afraid to float it) that his father was homeless. So Smith tracks down his estranged father, who’s a warm guy, a big hugger, and a hopeless drunk, and decides to try and help him get his life back together. What follows is complicated and emotionally fraught, with no easy roles; there’s a real tension as you wait for something to go wrong (and, with alcoholics, something always does). And Che isn’t always a model father himself, and seems at times to push his father to screw up. Directors Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg ('Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work'; 'The Trials of Daryl Hunt') capture scenes of extraordinary candor and quiet intensity, creating a work of real depth and heartbreaking inevitability.

  • ★★★½ review by ryanstannage on Letterboxd

    Exploring the complexities parenthood, acceptance, and responsibility, 'In My Father's House' offers a delicate and somewhat profound window into the lives of it's subjects.

  • ★★★½ review by Paco McCullough on Letterboxd

    An incredibly poignant documentary about fatherhood, following a rapper who tries to reconnect with his homeless dad. Moving and dramatic, it tugs at the heartstrings of even those who are dead inside (yours truly). However, it is marred by several distracting tangents that feel included to pad the running time. It would have been better as a 60-minute film on PBS than the 80 it ended up as, but it is still worth your time.

  • ★★★★ review by Corey Craft on Letterboxd

    Kinda wrecked me several times over, though the filmmaking is at its best when unfutzed with (with filters and the like) and when it lets its subjects just react.

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