Parents' Guide to

All in My Family

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Honest docu on coming out to a traditional Chinese family.

Movie NR 2019 40 minutes
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Is It Any Good?

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On the surface, this short documentary is a coming out story, but it turns out to be so much more. While All in My Family chronicles filmmaker Hao Wu's attempts at coming out to his extended family -- including an elderly grandfather who continues to exhort Wu to find the right woman, marry her, and have kids -- what emerges is that some things will never change. Wu doesn't shy away from the complexities inherent in being a gay man in a very traditional family and a socially conservative culture, and the exasperation, frustration, and apprehension Wu feels is evident throughout. However, the love this family feels for one another, as complex and challenging as that love may be from time to time, also comes through.

The documentary manages to convey so much in such a short time. It would be easy to imagine less skilled (or more narcissistic) filmmakers trying to pad this story into a feature-length documentary. Wu, however, keeps the documentary tightly focused, allowing the family members to reveal who they are without stepping in unless necessary to provide context. The honesty in the presentation is what makes this a standout documentary. Wu is unafraid to show how vulnerable he really is in this situation, and the result is a candid glimpse into a family trying to make sense of each other.

Movie Details

  • On DVD or streaming: May 3, 2019
  • Cast: Hao Wu
  • Director: Hao Wu
  • Studio: Netflix
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Run time: 40 minutes
  • MPAA rating: NR
  • Last updated: June 20, 2023

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