The Family ★★★

Biček’s Class Enemy was one of the stronger debut features of recent years, so this follow-up, a years-in-the-making documentary focusing on the perils of parentage, comes as a mild disappointment to me. Trying to form a dozen years of footage into a two-hour narrative is always precarious, and while there are some strong editorial choices here (e.g. the vasectomy interview’s foreshadowing presence, or the choice to intersperse the long session with the social worker with scenes showing Matej’s interactions with his family), so much is left unobserved that a viewer can only engage in pop psychology exercises in an attempt to understand the film’s alienated young subject. Yes, there’s impressive verisimilitude on display here, and yes there’s a willingness to stick around long enough to see life’s inevitable disappointments come to term, but in its efforts to show how support systems create and change an outlook this pales in comparison to Linklater’s Boyhood.