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Documentary addresses the difficulty of “different” families

Jack and Bob Allnutt, in Rachel Dretzin's documentary, "Far from the Tree," based on Andrew Solomon's book.

By Devin D. O’Leary

How do families deal with children who are very different from them? That’s the probing premise behind Rachel Dretzin’s honest and empathetic documentary Far From the Tree.

Like Solomon’s book, Dretzin’s documentary casts its focus across a wide range of “different” children. … Between family profiles, Dretzin’s camera returns to Solomon, watching him as he recounts his many youthful attempts to change his sexuality. The desire to fix something that isn’t broken to begin with is a theme in Far From the Tree. But this isn’t simply the story of children learning to grow comfortable with themselves. It’s the story of parents struggling to adjust their expectations and hopes under what are often monumentally difficult circumstances.

[F]or its ability to capture the drama of these unique children and their often conflicted parents, Far From the Tree is a compelling, compassionate and ultimately upbeat glimpse into the complicated, peril-fraught crapshoot that is parenthood.

(To read the full review, please visit Alibi.)