It Runs in the Family

CIFF Streams

April 2, 2023 - April 9, 2023

directed by
Victoria Linares Villegas
Original Title
Lo que se hereda
Dominican Republic
closed captions
audio description
english subtitles

Victoria Linares Villegas directs and stars in a series of reenactments honoring her cousin, queer Dominican filmmaker Oscar Torres, using unearthed screenplays and testimonies, while hoping to understand his life under the Trujillo regime and why he has been all but erased from her family’s history. —M.G.

Archival materials are not immutable. We construct historical narratives through their selective preservation, curation, and display. The family photo album is no different—future generations base their ancestral histories on the cherry-picked memories of those who came before. In her deeply personal documentary, director Victoria Linares Villegas grapples with how this curation, both institutional and familial, erased the colorful life of her deceased cousin, Oscar Torres. A queer radical leftist and pioneer in Caribbean docufiction during the authoritarian rule of Rafael Trujillo, little remains of Torres, his films unrestored, personal belongings burned, and stories silenced. Through interviews, archival excavation, and imaginative play, Linares unearths Torres’ legacy while reflecting on her own anxieties as a queer filmmaker. Is she, too, destined to be forgotten? Linares further honors Torres by staging his unproduced screenplays with the family that erased him, bringing IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY’s layered exploration of queer erasure and transgenerational memory full circle. —D.O.

Queer Cinema
Latinx & Hispanic Cinema
CIFF47 Streams
New Direction Competition
Reel Women Direct Award for Excellence in Directing By a Woman

Community Partners

LatinUS Theatre Co.