As we welcome November, we await cherishable time with family to capture new memories together. Every family shares a unique way of communication and struggle and that is meant to be celebrated through understanding each other. Through my following film picks, I can assure you that you will be encouraged to reflect on your own family dynamic and treasure the relationships built from within. As it comes time to go home for the holidays and reconnect with family and friends, it’s also time to remember your roots and acknowledge how your family has shaped your individuality. Here are some memorable, heartfelt films to enjoy with your family:
Dir. by Craig Johnson
Indie filmmaker Craig Johnson introduces SNL alum Bill Hader (left) and Kristen Wiig as reunited twins (Milo and Maggie, respectively) in a fascinating story that portrays their dramatic and comedic range.
Their reunion is an exemplary take on how family, despite bringing out the ugly truth within one another, can always serve as the strongest support system one can ever have in life.
Viewers admire Hader and Wiig’s on-screen chemistry as siblings as it is unfolded that many of their scenes together are ad-libbed and magnified through their own comedic timing and complex character depth.
“Little Miss Sunshine”
Dir. by Valerie Faris & Jonathan Dayton
This widely recognized, multi-nominated and awarded film needs a revisitation considering how strongly it hones in on the sense of self in a family. Not only does this film relay the important message that success is not as important as happiness, but also it is the perfect film to enjoy while reminiscing with your family. As great as this is for a cozy movie night get together, it will make you bawl your eyes out, and be grateful that your family is there for you through all your self-discovery!
“Look at us now, Mother!”
Dir. by Gayle Kirschenbaum
This tremendously insightful documentary about a woman, Gayle (middle), and her complicated relationship with her mother shows viewers their interesting journey as they reminisce about past memories and family history. Gayle’s essayistic and participatory take on her childhood –– through videos, family photos and emotional stories –– allows viewers to be immersed in their family nature of witty remarks, strong personalities and their spirited direction toward new beginnings. This documentary encourages readers to think of their parents as human beings before anything else because it is never too late to rebuild a rocky relationship. Not only do viewers understand the need to commemorate and remember good memories, but also to learn from and appreciate the bad memories.
“Lilo and Stitch”
Dir. by Chris Sanders & Dean DeBlois
This extraordinary Disney classic is worth revisiting as you travel back home to your childhood memories. It highlights the importance of supporting each other as a family –– no matter how broken it may seem. With Lilo’s (right) unconventionally adorable personality shining a bright light in the midst of lackluster social norms, it is undeniable how fun it is to watch this film.
This all-time favorite animated film sends out a wholesome message: “Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind,” and is a great movie to watch anytime with anyone.
Dir. by Orlando von Einsiedel
This heartfelt documentary will take you on a breathtaking journey through Scotland along the hiking pathways in memory of Evelyn, the brother of documentary film director Orlando. Along the trip, Orlando is joined by his siblings, parents and Evelyn’s best friends who openly converse about the tragedy 13 years after Evelyn’s death. They remember Evelyn’s life and his death and open an important conversation about his mental illness and suicide. This particular family acknowledges the importance of communication and teaches viewers that family is meant to be a unit. Pain is shared and no one should ever go through something so tragic alone.