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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Family is important, whether it's the one into which you were born or another one that chose to accept you as a member. The four teens in this film, all Chinese girls adopted by American families, learn to deal with their mixed background, and embrace the fact that as long as they have loving families, it doesn't make much difference where their parents come from.
Positive Role Models
The four teenage girls at the center of this documentary, all born in China and adopted as babies by American families, are vulnerable yet strong. They are all affected emotionally by the reality that they were abandoned by their biological parents -- one even remembers the day it happened -- but they also have matured into vibrant young women who want to help other Chinese adoptees learn about their backgrounds.
Violence & Scariness
Teens talk about being abandoned as babies or children.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Somewhere Between is a documentary about Chinese children adopted by American families and explores some complex and emotional subjects. It focuses on four teenage girls who have come to terms with the fact that they were all abandoned by their biological parents, and are happy to have found loving homes. It explores the complicate relationship such children have with the past, as they are both intensely curious about their origins, yet the tales can also dredge up intense feelings of sadness and rejection. The film is suitable for older tweens and teens; younger kids may find the subject matter a little intense and confusing, and, in cases where people discuss being abandoned by their parents, even disturbing. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
For a documentary to compel, it needs a strong subject at its center, and SOMEWHERE BETWEEN is gifted with one. From the moment the filmmaker Linda Goldstein Knowlton reveals her motivation for making this movie -- she has adopted a baby from China and would like to give her a sense of her history -- and tracks other girls who try to make sense of their own adoption, the movie is anchored with compassion and purpose. In doing so, Somewhere Between enlightens and, as with the case of Haley, who travels all the way to China to come face to face with her parents, breaks our hearts.
Haley notwithstanding, the film keeps its subjects at a remove. We sense that there will be many more years to untangle the knot of identity for these girls, but the movie doesn't ask those questions. The hopeful message is inspiring, of course, but it brings up more issues than it answers.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.