The definition of family was explored by a collection of movies this past weekend during the “What is Family? Film Festival” hosted by the Wisconsin Union Directorate Film Committee at Union South’s Marquee Theater.

From Nov. 1-4, 10 different films were shown that define family in a modern world. Each film was released in 2017 or 2018 and ranged in genre from documentaries, to comedies to thrillers.

In today’s era, there truly is no such thing as a normal or standard family.

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Roughly 40-50 percent of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, and in 2017, 10.2 percent of LGBTQ+ adults were married to a same-sex spouse.

Some families are big while others are small. Some have one parent while others have two. Sometimes friends are the best family people have. Whatever the case, celebrating a modern family is refreshing.

The event’s page about this year’s festival included a trailer giving a brief glimpse into each of the films that were shown. Their description touched on how unlike the past, where family typically was thought of as biological, today, there is a more fluid definition.

Not only does today’s “nuclear family” vary, but the definition stretches to include friendship, extended families and communities who act as a family.

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A personal favorite was “Three Identical Strangers,” a documentary which tackles the heartbreaking tale of identical triplets separated at birth. It wasn’t until college that the three brothers eventually found one another.

Without ruining the film, the twists and turns of their lives showed how remarkable the bond of family can be. Three separate families became a part of each other’s lives, and the film explores how being a family isn’t always as easy as it may seem.

This film is captivating and heartfelt, uplifting yet sorrowful at different moments. It explores the psychological impacts of being separated at birth and defines family in a unique sense. Even for those who are not as fond of watching documentaries  — “Three Identical Strangers” is a film worth learning from.

The WUD Film committee is a student-run organization that brings a range of movies to the University of Wisconsin campus. Typically, movies are shown at the Marquee Theater, but the committee also hosts a summer Lakeside Cinema series at the Memorial Union Terrace. On top of a vast range of films being screened throughout the year, the committee hosts two of these weekend-long film festivals.