A Family Thing movie poster
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A Family Thing movie poster

A Family Thing - Movie Synopsis & Plot

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Earl Pilcher, Jr. has lived all of his life in the same house in the same town in rural Arkansas. An ordinary man, he was raised in the Southern traditions of family and, now in his 60s, his world is settled and uncomplicated. But Earl is about to discover that the one person he knows the least about is himself. When Earl Pilcher, Jr.'s mother passed on, the blow came not from her death, but from a letter she left behind revealing a secret she could not take to her grave. Earl confronts his father, whose resigned despair serves as a silent confirmation of the truth: the woman Earl had always known as his mother was not his mother; his real mother was a black.

As Earl reads on, he learns of a half-brother he never knew existed, a policeman named Ray Murdock living in Chicago. The letter ends with his mother's dying wish: that he seek out this stranger and know him as a brother. To fulfill this last request--and perhaps for reasons even he doesn't understand--Earl embarks on a personal odyssey to find his brother...and himself.

The first encounter between Earl and Ray is awkward and fraught with tension as each man is forced to confront his mistrust, anger and prejudice. But, embraced by the unconditional love and acceptance of a wily octogenarian, Aunt T., and guided by her innate wisdom, they begin to explore their pasts. Together Earl and Ray learn that, though their lives have been distanced by more than just miles, the bonds of family are indestructible.

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