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Somewhere Between two worlds

Madhur Tankha
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A still from “Somewhere Between”.
A still from “Somewhere Between”.

American film-maker Linda Goldstein Knowlton, who adopted a girl child from China, has now made a documentary narrating the intimate stories of four teenaged Chinese girls living with adopted parents in the United States.

Titled Somewhere Between , the documentary was screened at Jagan Institute of Management Sciences in Rohini on Thursday and will be screened at the Epicentre at Apparel House in neighbouring Gurgaon on Friday as part of the ongoing ‘Film Forward-2012' programme. The film-maker will attend both the events. According to Linda, the idea came to her while contemplating her daughter's future. “Since she comes from China, I could not stop thinking that one day she will search for her identity. I remembered my own search. I think being human is having that search, but hers may be very different from mine. As a film-maker, I knew I had to explore this.”

Noting that America was the land of immigrants and that nearly everyone was searching for his or her identity and roots, Linda says she chose only these particular protagonists because of an instant connect between them.

“The girls poured their hearts out to me and gradually a bond developed between us. Although I have shown their American parents and the warm relationship they share, the film's focus has been on the girls. My film talks from their point of view.”

Whenever Linda met the girls, who lead comfortable lives with their American parents, she would question them about how they felt in their new adopted homes and whether they were interested in meeting their biological parents.

The English-speaking teenaged girls are aware of their mongoloid physiognomy and are more at ease in the company of persons from the Oriental world.

Though the girls live with different kinds of families, one factor unites them — all were adopted from China. They cannot come to terms with the fact that their biological parents abandoned them. The protagonists share what it is like to come-of-age in today's America as trans-racial adoptees. At the same time, they are shown as typical American teenagers who like travelling and having normal conversations with their friends and families.

Linda helps one of the girls meet her biological parents in China. The teenager is overwhelmed with emotions during the visit to her parent's home. The emotional re-union with her father and mother has been shown in the film. She also meets her sisters, one of whom is conversant in English and is presently doing her Masters.

Since she was the fourth girl child, her relatives sent her to a neighbouring village. But how she landed in an orphanage is something even her parents cannot explain.

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