I was interested in reading about the film “Somewhere Between” and clicked on the link to a review and was deeply disappointed. I left the link open, and continued on reading the news of the day and favorite blogs. Having cleared my mind, I returned to re-read the review, hoping I had been wrong in the tone and content. Sadly, the review read the same, and yet, I wanted to give the writer the benefit of the doubt so I went and read other film reviews she had written. Listening to the tone and looking at her words in other reviews, I came away with the opinion that she could not leave her role in adoption out of this review.
The opening paragraph states statistics of adoptions from China to the US and the reasons. The second paragraph has nothing whatsoever to do with the documentary.
Waiting for them at this end was the pent-up parental longing of thousands of infertile couples, single women (and a few single men) and gay and lesbian couples. I was one of those parents-in-waiting, and trust me, by the time I traveled with 11 other families to Guangzhou to pick up our babies, you could have put pet rocks in our laps and we’d have loved them to bits.
The writer goes on to describe in detail the type of parents each of the four girls had who were in the documentary, and reunion of Fang and her parents in China. Then to me, her bias shows through even stronger.
That aside, all four girls are thoughtful, moving and imaginative on the subject of their split identities. Haley thinks of herself as a “banana,” yellow on the outside, white on the inside. Describing herself as “stuck between two countries,” Fang laments that she’s always trying to compensate for the fact that she was abandoned because she’s a girl.
Watching the tears roll down Fang’s otherwise cheerful face, I wondered whether she’d be this sad if she wasn’t facing a camera. On the plus side, Somewhere Between is refreshingly free of the cloying, one-size-fits-all dogma that sometimes bedevils the adoption community. (I parted company with my chosen adoption listserv when I got tired of hearing about “the holes in all our daughters’ hearts.”)
Finally, in my opinion, her bias is cinched by completing her review of this film by having the last four paragraphs of the review be about her and her daughter, and how her daughter has no issues.
I understand that she is a film critic and works for NPR and is the reason NPR had her do the review. I think she should have recused herself. Here are a few links to other film reviews she has written so you can see the difference I saw between them, (or not).
Edit: 8/25/2012 – Malinda at Adoption Talk also talks about this review that is worth reading. Another Adoptive Parent Tells Adoptees How They Should Feel