Thank you to Bentonville Film Festival for supporting diverse storytellers and sponsoring this post.
I’ve never been what you’d call a “Daddy’s Girl”, but my father was at least there. Over the years my relationship with my dad has been up and down, and is currently mostly nonexistent. When I was younger, things between us were very different. He took care of me, fed me, and raised me to the best of his abilities. I give him credit for that. Eventually, though, substance abuse took over his life, and the dad I knew, the one who at least tried, was nowhere to be found. There were times that I’d look for him, physically and emotionally. I remember once comparing him to Job from the Bible and willing him to push through the devastation of his life. I never really got to him.
I’m grateful for the pockets of time that he was there. Times like when I had to take a medical leave at work after a challenging surgery. He was there for Ayva, her Pop-Pop, going above and beyond his grandfather duties to make sure she had everything that she needed and wanted while I was out of commission for weeks. After that, I thought for sure that he was back for good, not perfect (because none of us are), but present and trying. I was wrong.
Every few months he’s there, then he’s not. We find him then we lose him again, over and over again. I finally stopped searching. The man who gave me life, my daughter’s Pop-Pop, I’ll always love him, but I’m not looking for him anymore. If he chooses to find me, I’ll be here. Otherwise, I’ll keep praying and hoping that he can find himself.
When it comes to finding fathers, hip-hop artist Che “Rhymefest” Smith and I have a lot in common. In the award-winning film, ‘In My Father’s House’, Che finds and works to rebuild his relationship with his father, an alcoholic living right down the street from Che’s childhood home. The film won at last year’s Bentonville Film Festival, and it’s clear why. Watching Che work to get through to his father, seeing how he was forgiving but still hurt reminded me a lot of where I am in my relationship with my own father. It was tough to watch at times because I felt for Che’s dad and the guilt of not putting the same energy into rebuilding my relationship my dad got the best of me. All in all, though, it was an powerful story of family and fatherhood.
IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE is now available on Digital, VOD, and DVD! Get your copy at Walmart today.
About Bentonville Film Festival (BFF)
Bentonville Film Festival was founded by Academy Award Winner® Geena Davis and festival co-founder Trevor Drinkwater in 2015. BFF’s mission is to encourage representation of diversity in film and other forms of media, and they support minorities and women by providing a platform to showcase their work.
BFF is the only film competition in the world to guarantee theatrical, television, digital and retail home entertainment distribution for its winners. The 2016 Festival will be held May 3 – 8 in Bentonville, Arkansas in partnership with founding sponsor Walmart, presenting sponsor Coca-Cola and distribution partners AMC Theatres and Lifetime. Like me, they want to see a world where diversity is celebrated and appreciated. Many thanks to BFF for sponsoring this post, and for the work that they do with artists and filmmakers.
This is post was sponsored by the Bentonville Film Festival. While the views expressed here were genuinely mine, consideration was paid to me to produce this post. #ShareYourTruth