Stella Meghie’s (Jean of the Joneses, The Weekend) The Photograph is a refreshing take on how ill-directed familial angst so often stops healthy romantic love right in its tracks. Mae (Issa Rae) is an assistant curator at the Queen’s Museum who is grieving the death of her mother Christina Eames, a famous photographer who always kept her daughter at a distance. Her sudden death left Mae regretting that she’d never have the opportunity to truly know the ins and outs of who her mom was. A journalist, Michael (LaKeith Stanfield), reaches out to her inquiring about photographs taken by her late mom. Michael’s reporting leads him to Isaac Jefferson (Rob Morgan). Eventually it’s revealed that Michael is looking into the life of Christina, and Isaac was a very close friend of hers. A photograph on Isaac’s mantel points Michael in the right direction, to Mae. While their acting was perfectly satisfactory, the chemistry between Rae and Stanfield doesn’t burst at the seams. The passion in the film lies in Mae’s learning of her mother’s past after she died. This film is about how not facing familial trauma head on can perpetuate unhealthy love in all parts of life, making it that much more difficult to love anyone intimately. The Photograph reminds us that familial love is the root of how we love others. Whether it be a lifelong journey or a year’s triumph, digging deep is worth the trek.