British writer/director Stephen Poliakoff has a thing about families and the past--just like genealogists.
If you haven't seen his work, let me recommend Almost Strangers (a 3-part miniseries that ran in England under the title Perfect Strangers). It takes place at a noisy, jam-packed family reunion. As you might imagine, secrets are exposed and complications ensure as several touching and surprising family stories emerge. With a cast including Michael Gambon and Michael Macfadyen, the acting is fantastic. Poliakoff was inspired to write this after attending his own family's reunion (read about it here).
I just finished watching another Poliakoff miniseries, Shooting the Past. On the surface, it's about the fate of a sprawling archive containing 10 million photos spanning the 20th century--and the dedicated but quirky staff that has been taking care of this collection for years. However, family stories are at the very core of the plot and these tales unfold slowly and in unexpected ways. Stick with it: you'll be rewarded in the final episode with a masterful family tale told entirely through photos. Read more about the background here.
Both of these Poliakoff works are available via Netflix, Amazon, and other sources. Click and enjoy!
- Wm Tyler Bentley's story
- Abraham & Annie Berk's Story
- Isaac & Henrietta Birk's story
- Mary A. Demarest's story
- Farkas & Kunstler Families
- Rachel & Jonah Jacobs' story
- Robert & Mary Larimer's story
- Meyer & Tillie Mahler's story
- Halbert McClure from Donegal
- Schwartz family from Ungvar
- John & Mary Slatter's story
- Steiner & Rinehart story
- Wood family of Ohio
- Mayflower ancestors
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