September 26, 2019

Find Me Movie Review

Here's my second movie review!

Find Me Movie Review:

There’s something so special about hearing someone’s adoption story. It’s personal and intimate, and in the documentary Find Me, directed by husband and wife duo Dave and Kathi Peters, we get the rare chance to follow several families whose lives have been changed by adoption.

The first family we meet are the LeSeur’s, good friends of the Peters, who bring a camera with them to China to film the adoption. Watching Hayley, the little girl, get adopted is heartwarming, but only moments later do we see her nanny crying in the hallway. Something so unique about this documentary is that we get to see the nanny that took care of Hayley for almost three years, a perspective that is not addressed often.

When the LeSeur's arrive back, they sit down with the Peters to share their story, and the group quickly decides to return to China, and and try to locate their daughter’s “finding place,” the place where children are left, usually with blankets and a note. While they planned their trip to China, Michael Rottina, an advocate for a Chinese orphanage, called them, asking them to help him by raising awareness to the many orphans of a recently flooded orphanage.

Along the way, we meet two other families, the Greens, and Zimmermans, who both end up being in China at the same time. The Greens are a family of ten, seven of them have special needs, and that is what parents Jeremy and Christianne say make them a family. Merle and Kim Zimmerman are heading to China at the same point to adopt their eighth child, Lucy, who suffered from a condition called Congenital Vertical Talus. From the point of an outsider looking in, it’s incredibly powerful to see the moment where you meet your newest family member, and this film documented these moments perfectly.

Because the focal point of this documentary is to showcase the families, the filming is far from perfect, and oftentimes moments sound over-scripted. I was able to overlook most of these occasions because I was so encaptured by the content. Overall, this film was a candid and touching showcase of both the challenges and beauty that comes along with adoption.

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September 6, 2019

Somewhere Between Movie Review

Recently I've been exploring more resources for adoptees, and I wanted to share my thoughts with you. I hope you'll check them out for yourself!

Somewhere Between Movie Review:

Every day, people question who they are, and in the documentary Somewhere Between, directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton, four Chinese adoptees are no different, struggling to make sense of their blurry past, and create an identity for themselves despite facing the harsh reality that they don’t have all the answers. Released in 2011 and starring Ann Boccuti, Haley Butler, Jenna Cook, and Fang "Jenni" Lee, we see the four dive into their pasts and try to make sense of their beginnings. Rarely, will you find such a candid and poignant documentary about adoption, yet in many places, I found myself wishing they would go more in depth into the emotions that each girl was feeling. In spite of this, it made a point to dive into each girl’s life, and we are able to watch as they travel to China, while seeing how each girl’s unique trip helped them grow in understanding. Due to the very nature of this documentary, the filming is not the main focus, but it does have moments where the transitions don’t always feel the most natural. Overall, this is a great resource for adoptees and non-adoptees alike as it addresses feelings of guilt, abandonment, and loss, but then shows how each girl matures in who she is while arriving at very different conclusions and coming to closure at different rates. 

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