A review of 'Family Portrait' by Rob Brown

Aesthetica - 1 February 2006

Behind every instance of domestic violence, psychological torment and neglect in families sits a patchwork of happy memories – but also a myriad of sad ones. In this snippet of gripping drama, Brown serves up a monstrous plate of murder, with the very vivid cocktail of fear and revenge that washes it down.

Throughout the short, we are shown photographs and home videos of an average nuclear family – the usual medley of weddings, birthdays and Christmases, to a backing track of the mother and wife, Denise, screeching for help to an emergency service operator as her husband breaks into their home after shooting their son. Brown cleverly juxtaposes the happy memories with the reality, so much so, that if you close your eyes, you weep in fear for Denise – when if you mute the sound, you smile in awe of their scrapbook of family love.