There are those films in life you witness and you know that you will not forget the impact the film had on you. We all remembered as horror fans seeing Jaws, Evil Dead and even Halloween the first time, or as comedy fans seeing Police Academy, Naked Gun, and even Blazing Saddles. Those films you see and they make you a fan of the movie going experience. Somewhere Between is that film that when you watch it, you know that after you are done you will never be able to forget the message and labor of love you just witnessed. Linda Goldstein Knowlton tells her story of how she adopted this little girl from an orphanage in China, and she knew that her daughter would one day ask questions that would be unanswerable, so she went on a journey around the globe following the growth and development of other American-adopted Chinese girls. While this documentary may sound more like some infomercial or announcement to donate money to overseas kids, make no mistake about it this film is a beautifully told story that touches on some very personal and very heart gripping struggles. This documentary explores the plight and psychology of being an immigrant in America. This focuses on 4 girls who were all abandoned and each one was adopted. Each one as you learn is confident enough in themselves to work towards a bright future but are curious about their roots and birth place, but not so ready to meet the family that gave them birth, if that is ever a chance or opportunity.
This film deals with the women and their feelings of feeling like insiders and outsiders at the same time and always aware of whom they are. This film touches on a subject like exile from a land and the feeling of living between one thing and another and that being the norm to many immigrants. The four girls in this film at times seem very comfortable with who they are, and the fact that their adoptive parents really were so concerned about raising them, in fact we learn that one of the mothers learned Chinese while the parents always seem to take their daughters to China almost annually. This film has a few negatives to it, and it is the heavy hand it uses at times with the message. The scenes where the girls are left to wonder why they were abandoned and thinking it was this or that which for me was ok, but the film seemed to start using politics in the message as well, and I found that when the film went into those directions that it was almost more of a underlining attack on China then anything positive towards the girls and their growth. This film liked to bring up that Americans have all this freedom and China does not, which I mean is pretty much true I guess, but since most of us do not live in China and most of the Chinese do not live in the USA, do you really need to bring up this message? It is like the film loved to go off course and turn into almost a smear campaign at times against the Chinese lifestyle. I wish this film would have focused more in those moments on the realities of the girls more than a political overtone message.
Overall, this film is painful to watch at times but has a feel good moment to try and keep a balance. To watch the stories of these four girls unfold, you are compelled to sit there and if you do not get emotional or wanting to hold your own child, you are clearly not human. The film is one of those that you watch once and it sticks with you long after you shut it off, and that is the impact of a very interesting documentary topic. I would say every parent should watch this with their child one time, and see how fortunate some people really have it. This is just a must watch, even with the small negatives aside.
8 out of 10