Family Viewing

Family Viewing

Family Viewing is a 1987 Canadian drama film. The second feature directed by Atom Egoyan, it stars David Hemblen, Aidan Tierney, Gabrielle Rose, Arsinée Khanjian, and Selma Keklikian. The plot follows a young man from a dysfunctional family who fakes his beloved grandmother's death with the help of a phone sex worker, as his home movie-obsessed father dominates his life.


Van (Tierney) frequently visits his grandmother, Armen (Keklikian) who is living in a poor quality nursing home. There, he meets Aline (Khanjian), whose mother (Sabourin) is in the bed next to Armen. Aline's job as a phone sex worker does not pay enough to afford a better nursing home for her mother. Van and Aline get to know each other through their frequent meetings at the nursing home. Van's mother (Sarkisyan) disappeared years ago and his father, Stan (Hemblen), is reluctant to visit his mother-in-law. Stan does go to visit Armen once, but he first visits with a stranger because he does not even know what she looks like. When he finally sees Armen, she attacks him. Van tries to convince his father to allow Armen to live with them, but he refuses. Van also unsuccessfully tries to convince Sandra, Stan's live-in lover (Rose), to help him convince his father but she also refuses.