In profiling Chinese adoptees in contemporary America, Linda Goldstein Knowlton (THE WORLD ACCORDING TO SESAME STREET) has created a deeply moving documentary illustrating that even the most specific of experiences can be universally relatable.
Of the roughly 80,000 girls who have been adopted from China since 1989—a decade after China implemented its One Child Policy—the film intimately follows four teenagers: Haley, Jenna, Ann, and Fang. These four wise-beyond-their-years, yet typical American teens, reveal a heartbreaking sense of self-awareness as they attempt to answer the uniquely human question, “Who am I?” They meet and bond with other adoptees, some journey back to China to reconnect with the culture, and some reach out to the orphaned girls left behind. In their own ways, all attempt to make sense of their complex identities. Issues of belonging, race, and gender are brought to life through these articulate subjects, who approach life with honesty and open hearts.
Director Linda Goldstein Knowlton. 88 mins, NR.
Note to Families: This film is normally suggested for ages 14 and up. There is no sex, drugs, or other content that would likely give the film a PG-13 rating. However, the film deals with sensitive issues such as the concept of birth parents, an idea younger children may not be ready for. Also, one of the girls in the film goes back to China to search for her birth parents and finds them within a very short period of time; some children may have the impression from this part of the film that their own search, if they decide to do it, will be equally as easy. Of course, the decision about age appropriateness is up to each family to decide, based on their own child’s maturity.