If you are a part of the adoption triad, or in relationship with someone who is, there are several documentaries being shown on PBS this summer that might be of interest. You will have to check your local listiadng for the time and channel, but these are all a part of PBS’s Point of View series. I’m thrilled that they are tackling adoption, and especially some of the more complex issues. Set your DVR!
First Person Plural
In 1966, Deann Borshay Liem was adopted by an American family and sent from Korea to her new home in California. There the memory of her birth family was nearly obliterated, until recurring dreams led her to investigate her own past, and she discovered that her Korean mother was very much alive. Bravely uniting her biological and adoptive families, Borshay Liem embarks on a heartfelt journey in the acclaimed 2000 film First Person Plural, a poignant essay on family, loss and the reconciling of two identities. POV will present the filmmaker’s follow-up, In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee, on Tuesday, September 14, 2010.
Wo Ai Ni, Mommy
What is it like to be torn from your Chinese foster family, put on a plane with strangers and wake up in a new country, family and culture? Stephanie Wang-Breal’s Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy is the story of Fang Sui Yong, an 8-year-old orphan, and the Sadowskys, the Long Island Jewish family that travels to China to adopt her. Sui Yong is one of 70,000 Chinese children now being raised in the United States. Through her eyes, we witness her struggle with a new identity as she transforms from a timid child into someone that no one — neither her new family nor she — could have imagined.
Off and Running
Off and Running tells the story of Brooklyn teenager Avery, a track star with a bright future. She is the adopted African-American child of white Jewish lesbians. Her older brother is black and Puerto Rican and her younger brother is Korean. Though it may not look typical, Avery’s household is like most American homes — until Avery writes to her birth mother and the response throws her into crisis. She struggles over her “true” identity, the circumstances of her adoption and her estrangement from black culture. Just when it seems as if her life is unraveling, Avery decides to pick up the pieces and make sense of her identity, with inspiring results.
In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee