Family Portrait Sittings
103 minutes/ 1975/ 16mm film

Parents on couch

Using photographs, interviews, home movies, and footage shot in Philadelphia and abroad, Family Portrait Sittings tells the story of the filmmaker's family,
from their origins in Italy to their life in the United States.

"Family Portrait Sittings is an album of reminiscences that is as much about the processes of remembering as it is about the things remembered."
—Vincent Canby, The New York Times

"A work that rigorously redesigns the nature of the autobiographical non-fiction film."
—Frank Rich, The New York Post

"One of the few films at the 1978 Edinburgh Festival to live up to the festival's tradition of presenting the most stimulating examples of recent independent cinema."
—Allan T. Sutherland, Sight and Sound

"A beautifully offbeat and affectionate film."
—Nigel Andrews, American Film

"One of the finest films in this loose grouping [of films about families] is Alfred Guzzetti's Family Portrait Sittings in which members of Guzzetti's family sit at home and reflect on their lives. Gradually, all the shadows and memories emerge: Italy, emigration, marriage and children, work and politics. Eventually the family is seen very clearly, placed against the large socio-economic background of America, which gives one not just an individual story but a microcosm of a whole ethnic group's history."
—Alan Rosenthal, The Documentary Conscience