Family Name (1997): Macky Alston’s Personal Documentary

In “Family Name,” a young white filmmaker digs deep into his Southern family’s history as slave owners and finds out many secrets, revelations. and surprises.

This fascinating, moving first-person documentary offers a provocative exploration of race in American life was a co-winner of the freedom of expression award at the Sundance Film Fest where it premiered.

Race has been an issue in filmmaker’s own family line in each and every generation. And now, the black and white relatives who wanted to finally overcome a history of deliberate forgetfulness by looking at and understanding their shared past.

Probing yet warm-spirited, the feature offers an unusual opportunity for dialogue among viewers regarding the powerful, if problematic force of racial history in the U.S.

Engagingly guided by director Macky Alston, “Family” justifies artist Charles Alston’s claim that his family’s saga is “an epic.”


Opelika Pictures production
Director: Macky Alston
Producer: Selina Lewis
Screenplay: Alston, Kay Gayner
Camera: (color, 16mm), Eliot Rockett
Editor: Sandra Marie Christie, Christopher White
Music: Camara Kambon

Running Time: 89 Minutes.