Pieces of April
The dictionary definition of family is the members of one’s household, close relatives, or a social unit. Family does not always need to be of blood relation. Many times we find family in the comfort of our friends, partners, and others that surround us. In the film Pieces of April, we watch one family’s struggle to heal their fractured relationship with their daughter, while trying to overcome their own personal conflicts.
We are introduced to April Burns and her boyfriend Bobby in their New York City apartment. It is Thanksgiving morning, and April is responsible for preparing the holiday meal. At first she is defiant; however Bobby motivates her to wake up and go through with the dinner plans. The dialogue between April and Bobby begin to explain April’s relationship with her family, or the lack there of. April doesn’t have the stereotypical picture-perfect relationship with her family. She is the outcast. Portrayed as a tattooed, pierced, once drug-addicted daughter; April seems like nothing more than a distress to her family, a little piece they could easily live without. She was the first born child and refers to herself as “the first pancake”; meaning she was the bad one that gets thrown out, the one that isn’t good enough to keep. There is a sense of hostility in the dialogue between the Burns family whenever April is discussed. Her mother Joy explains that she can’t remember one good memory of April; she can only remember a problem child. April truly cares about her relationship with her family, even though she won’t admit it. She never comes out and says it, but her actions prove otherwise. After realizing her oven was not going to take part in the festivities, she explores her apartment building in search of a working appliance, and the generosity of strangers. She could have easily thrown in the towel, but the fact that she persevered and accomplished her goal says a lot about her. The viewer sees April’s...
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