REVIEW: SOMEWHERE BETWEEN
Since 1989, over 80,000 Chinese children have been adopted by Americans as a result of China’s “One Child Policy.” As they grow older, most of them begin to question their identity and a past that remains a mystery. In profiling Chinese adoptees in contemporary America, SOMEWHERE BETWEEN reveals the stories of four teenagers and illustrates that even the most specific of experiences can be universally relatable.
Releasing on February 5 from Docurama Films, a label of Cinedigm Entertainment Group (NASDAQ: CIDM), SOMEWHERE BETWEEN, directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton (The World According to Sesame Street), intimately follows four teenagers from across the United States who share their stories about family, race and identity. The film features in-depth interviews with the four teenagers and their parents and also includes home footage from their earlier years.
Haley Butler –is home-schooled and lives in Nashville, TN. She visits China regularly with her adoptive parents in an effort to find her birth parents. During one of her visits, she meets a man who claims to be her biological father and her world is changed forever.
Jenna Cook – is from Newburyport, MA, and attends the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. She is very competitive and dedicates her time to school and sports. She struggles with the word “abandonment.”
Ann Bocutti – is from a suburb near Philadelphia, PA. She has little desire to know anything about where she came from, but after hearing stories from other adopted girls, she begins to have questions about her past.
Fang “Jenni” Lee – lives in Berkeley, CA. She remembers being left on a city street corner by her biological brother before being adopted. Fang travels to China and meets a little girl with cerebral palsy at a foster home and is determined to find her a home.
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 from an international organization called CAL/Global Girls and some journey back to China to reconnect with the culture and 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.
“Through their specific stories, we as viewers come to understand more fully the meaning of family whether we are adoptive families or not,” said Knowlton. “We’re a nation of immigrants… everybody, in one way or another, is ‘somewhere between’ in so many different ways in their lives.”
SOMEWHERE BETWEEN is the winner of the Sundance Channel Audience Award at Hot Docs and the Best Documentary Award at the Milwaukee Film Festival. The film was an official selection at the 2011 Los Angeles International Film Festival, Aspen Filmfest and the Vancouver International Film Festival. Additionally, the film was one of ten films in the 2011 Sundance Film Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialog program.
Mandarin and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround Sound
Deleted and Extended
Interviews with Adoption