FAMILY AFFAIR (USA) At the age of 10, director Chico David Colvard — imitating his TV hero "The Rifleman" — accidentally shot one of his three sisters, using his father's gun. That tragedy had a domino effect, exposing the father's molestation of his daughters and all but destroying the family. After 15 years in self-imposed exile, Colvard returns home to survey the wreckage and seek answers. His film is basic in terms of craftsmanship and visuals (it looks like an extended home video fleshed out with family photos), but it's devastating as it uncovers generations of abuse and the counterintuitive coping mechanisms that victims devised. (July 30-Aug. 5)
STEAM OF LIFE (Finland/Sweden) Rarely have the emotional interiors of men been as deeply and lovingly probed on camera as they are in this poetic meditation on maleness, co-directed by Joonas Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen. Set in countless Finnish saunas — from state-of-the-art spas to ramshackle homemade steam rooms — as well as several gorgeous outdoor locales, the film simply allows men of all ages and occupations to speak on their life's struggles, joys and heartbreaking disappointments revolving around family, career and the fulfillment or thwarting of dreams. Sometimes what's confessed is drolly funny; often it's unbearably painful. On the whole, the film is extraordinarily moving. (Aug. 6-12)
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COLONY (Ireland/USA) Colony Collapse Disorder, the mysterious affliction that's nearly decimated the world's honeybee population and thus put our global food supply in peril, is examined from every angle in Carter Gunn and Ross McDonnell's engrossing Colony. Assorted beekeepers and spokesmen for manufacturers of pesticides (believed by many to be a cause of the bees' disappearance) get ample camera time to argue their points, and the conclusions drawn are alarming. But it's the hardworking, devoutly Christian Seppi family, relative newcomers to beekeeping, whose struggles to stay afloat after their hives are nearly wiped out just as the economy bottoms out, who illuminate so much of the human cost of a looming disaster. (July 30-Aug. 5)