Chinese adoptees are profiled in 'Somewhere Between'

2012-10-31T23:17:00Z 2012-11-01T08:54:23Z Chinese adoptees are profiled in 'Somewhere Between'By Joe Williams joewilliams@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8344 stltoday.com

More than 80,000 children in America were adopted from China. Most of them are girls. And most of those girls were forsaken by birth families who wanted their one permitted child to be an income-generating boy.

In Chinese cities such as Guangzhou and Kunming, many of the Anglos you see at the luxury hotels are Americans waiting for babies to adopt. One of them we meet in the documentary “Somewhere Between” is the film's director, Linda Goldstein Knowlton, who says she made it to understand what her newly adopted daughter might experience.

In this poignant movie we meet four Chinese-born teenagers who are living with American parents from Berkeley to Boston. Although the girls have American accents and interests, they have uniquely cleft identities. Some of them form friendships with other Asian adoptees at conventions, but most of them feel like that they can't complete the puzzle without returning to China.

A segment where a girl from Nashville seeks her birth parents in a backwater village is predictably emotional and unexpectedly redemptive. And another segment where an Americanized girl returns to China to facilitate the adoption of a child with cerebral palsy underscores the strength of the cross-cultural bond.

“Somewhere Between” screens Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. in Moore Auditorium at Webster University, 470 East Lockwood Avenue. Admission is $6 for the general public. Call 314-968-7487 for more information.

Joe Williams is the film critic of the Post-Dispatch and the author of the book "Hollywood Myths." Follow him on Twitter @joethecritic

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