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The 10 best films we saw at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival

Father and daughter hugging.

Image from the documentary «Daughters».

(Sundance Institute)

Produced by Kerry Washington, «Daughters» culminates in an emotional father-daughter dance in a Washington, DC prison. But its real power, as a portrait of families torn apart by incarceration and a call to action for prisoners’ rights, lies in what comes before and after. Inside the facility, inmates meet for a 10-week fatherhood course to take part in the event, which for many will be their only face-to-face time with family in months or years. Outside, their daughters, from kindergarten through high school, adore their dads, or fear they’ll forget them or become frustrated by their absence. After the father-daughter pair spend an all-too-fleeting moment together dancing, the filmmakers go on for a year, two years, three, witnessing slowly rebuilding relationships and others being tested with harsh sentences, reminding viewers that the consequences of our penal system—including recidivism itself— is reflected outward into our communities and across time. As it arrives at Sundance, the six-year journey of «Daughters» now includes its young subjects aging from kindergarten to preteens, underscoring the fact that no coda, however distant, can fully come full circle in their stories. I want to follow these fathers and daughters deep into the future: the series of wounds and healings of America’s carceral age. —Matt Brennan

#films #Sundance #Film #Festival

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