All Aboard! Rosie's Family Cruise

Director: Shari Cookson

Institute History

  • 2006 Sundance Film Festival


Five hundred families from across the nation are on board a ship chartered by Rosie and Kelli O'Donnell for the first-ever cruise for gay and lesbian families. This historic event, a kind of nautical utopia, offers a world without prejudice, where love, compassion, and true family values prevail. But when the families disembark in Nassau after a week of fun and adventure, angry protesters accost them, hurling hatred in the name of Christ. For many of the younger children, still untainted by the scars of human bigotry, these protests are a confusing and frightening initiation, while the parents and teenagers are left with a piercing reminder of their struggle for acceptance.

Nimbly directed by Shari Cookson, All Aboard! Rosie's Family Cruise provides a compelling example of what film does better than any other medium. Ever conscious that a picture paints a thousand words, Cookson interweaves multiple stories with simple visual images. The smiles on the faces of the children aboard the ship become a political statement unto themselves. This exquisitely layered, powerfully moving film forces us to examine our conscience as a nation and challenges us to imagine the possibility of a better world.

— David Courier

Screening Details

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