Since its birth in the early ’00s in the shadow of the fallen Trade Towers, the Tribeca Film Festival has been a proudly mixed-bag, a piñata, if you will, its chief goal to assemble a new and adventurous community of film lovers in downtown Manhattan. Audiences buy passes of various colors and price points, or grab last-minute tickets for films that aren’t — as they are at Lincoln Center’s New York Film Festival — exactingly selected by a tony group of cineastes. You see a lot of half-successful indie films. You see duds. You see movies you’ll never hear about again. And you discover some gems.
In My Father’s House
Building on the grim statistic that a majority of African-Americans are raised in single-parent homes, Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg follow Grammy Award–winning rapper Che “Rhymefest” Smith as he tracks down the dad he has barely met — who turns out to be a homeless, effusive but resolute alcoholic. Buying his father’s old house and raising a family in it is a potent symbolic gesture, but the doc leaves you very sad.