One issue raised by Joanna Rudnick’s In the Family has likely been around for as long as there have been doctors: If you could find out if you are now or may eventually become terminally ill, would you want to know? The director, now in her mid-30s, didn’t have much of a choice, considering the history of breast and ovarian cancer in her family. When Rudnick’s sister, a mammographer, found out about a genetic test that can detect the mutation that leads to these cancers, Rudnick was strong-armed into taking it. As In the Family begins, Rudnick has known for a few years that she tested positive for the mutation, with various doctors quoting her chance of getting sick at anywhere from 40 to 90 percent. Now she’s facing another part of the blessing/curse conundrum. Removing her breasts and ovaries would nearly erase her risk—a tough decision at any age, but particularly wrenching when you’re an attractive 27-year-old who is still dating and hopes to have kids. Rudnick’s film deftly balances personal journal and objective examination of the issue as she deals with a new relationship, hears other women’s stories, and talks to the research lab that developed the test and charges $3,000 for it. (As devastating as the subject already is, there’s also a Sicko perspective regarding insurance coverage and profiting off the new science.) In the Family isn’t all gloom and doom, however. Rudnick is a charming host, and many of the women she meets share a dark humor about their lot, particularly one who makes this astute pro-surgery argument: “If there’s a 50 percent chance a plane will go down, would you go on the plane? Hell no!” —TO