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Family Name

5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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(Sep 23, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

This Sundance Film Festival winner is an absorbing genealogical real-life detective story that follows a personal odyssey to find out the meaning of the family name.

What does a name signify, exactly? Growing up in Durham, North Carolina, white filmmaker Macky Alston never questioned why all of the other Alstons at his elementary school were black. Twenty-five years later, Alston decides to unravel this perplexity in the award-winning documentary FAMILY NAME.

Alston s quest to solve his genealogical mystery takes him from New York to Alabama and then back to North Carolina. He seeks clues at family reunions, graveyards, church services, and, eventually, the original Alston plantations. The people he meets vary markedly in race, age, class and perspective, but they all have two things in common: the family name and a compelling story to tell. The biggest question of this investigation, perhaps, is whether it will provide the Alstons with catharsis or create an even greater sense of division. As the revelations mount, FAMILY NAME unfolds an unforgettable emotional journey that transforms our conceptions of the past.

Product Details

  • Actors: Family Name
  • Directors: Macky Alston
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: September 23, 2008
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00197PP0I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,691 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Family Name" on IMDb

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Top Customer Reviews

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I'm of Alston linage so I really appreciated this. Perhaps it would be helpful to others in researching their family history.
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By califemme on September 10, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I purchased this for my husband due to his last name; We have watched this several times with other family members. It was great learning more about his family.
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Format: DVD
I totally enjoy this history of the Alston family. It tied together some assumptions and places in our family history.
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An old friend was featured in it, so I found the information that I wanted.
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