Part of SFFILM Festival
A gay man wrestles with coming out to his grandfather while a community reacts in shock to a friend’s enlistment in ISIS in these two striking documentaries.
Total running time 62 min
Titles are listed alphabetically rather than in order of play. These films are not in competition.
All in My Family is filmmaker Hao Wu’s nakedly personal account of a visit back home to China 20 years after leaving to live openly in the US. A father now of two infants with his longtime partner, they prepare to meet the family, but Hao ponders how much to tell his nonagenarian grandfather. Frank interviews with his parents, sister, and aunts lay Wu’s dilemma bare in a society that barely acknowledges homosexuality and where the idea of a gay couple raising children together is an alien concept.
(Hao Wu, USA 2018, 40 min)
Everyone in Ghosts of Sugar Land wears a mask, too aware that their status as brown, Muslim men in the post-9/11 world makes them suspicious figures to their Sugar Land, TX, neighbors in the best of times. None is eager to come to the attention of law enforcement as a friend of “Mark,” an African-American classmate who converted to Islam and somehow became radicalized to the point that he’s joined ISIS in Syria. In Bassam Tariq’s fascinating documentary, Mark’s friends remember someone who never fit in anywhere and wonder if there was anything they could have said or done to alter his trajectory. But while the doc is about Mark’s journey, it is also a riveting snapshot of everyday life for American Muslims where fear of guilt by association drives some to hide behind a Pikachu mask.
(Bassam Tariq, USA 2018, 22 min)