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Review: ‘In My Father’s House’ profiles son’s effort to reunite with father

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An unflinchingly honest lens is placed on one man’s family as he builds a relationship with his absentee father in the documentary “In My Father’s House.”

Che “Rhymefest” Smith was a Grammy-winning rapper, songwriter and Chicago radio personality when he set out to track down his dad, Brian. When Che purchases the house in which his father grew up, Che seeks to fill the void he’s felt his entire life. But when Che finds his father homeless and addicted to alcohol, Che must not only get to know and accept this man but also try to help him get his life on track.

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As he’s dredging up the pain and sorrow from his past, Che is also figuring out how to be a good father to his own children, who have different mothers. Che considers what the idea of fully present parenting means for him.

Che is an engaging and warm presence on screen, immediately likable, someone to root for. His struggles have led him to reflect on what it means to be fatherless, and in order to heal the relationship with his father, ugly truths and hard feelings must be exposed.

“Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg bring a skilled and nuanced storytelling to the film, which never shies away from the harder moments.

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“In My Father’s House.”

MPAA rating: R for language.

Running time: 1 hour, 33 minutes.

Playing: AMC Burbank Town Center 8.

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