In Search of our Fathers

Director: Marco Williams

Institute History

  • 1992 Sundance Film Festival


In Search of Our Fathers documents filmmaker Marco Williams’s personal seven-year journey to find and meet his father. The film begins with a simple phone conversation and culminates with a face-to-face meeting between Williams and the father he has never known, along the way taking us into the lives and histories of the Williams family. As much as In Search of Our Fathers is a personal story, the film also explores, as its title implies, broader concerns about personal identity in connection with situations where the family unit is fragmented. Williams’s family, four generations of women who have raised or are raising children without men in the home, represents a compelling microcosm of a segment of the black community and reveals the prevailing attitudes of men and women toward family and children. When Williams rhetorically asks what sort of father he could imagine himself to be, since he has never known a father, immediately the patterns that seem to have been followed by four generations of men in his family come into clear focus. In Search of Our Fathers is, to a large degree, a compassionate portrait of the women from Williams’s family, who have all played significant roles in shaping and inspiring the filmmaker. At journey’s end, when Williams finally speaks with his father about the family, he is able to fully appreciate the circumstances of his upbringing and understand his identity as a product of the individuals who have raised him. In Search of Our Fathers is a moving personal account, as well as an inquiry into the nature and values of the modern family.

— Alberto Garcia

Screening Details

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