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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Where Love Found Me is based on real events and tells the story of a filmmaker who meets a recently orphaned girl and quickly decides to make her the focus of his project. Harsh realities of street life are depicted, with lots of dark, scary scenes, and gun violence is pervasive. Shootings and a beating are heard off-camera; afterward, we see victims with some blood but no other gore is shown. Human trafficking and the sex trade are implied but never mentioned. Several mentions of street kids doing drugs, but no drug use is depicted. There are some faith-based messages. At the end, the movie promotes the filmmakers' organization, Bring Me Hope, which promotes international adoption; some manipulative but moving footage of adoptions is shown. The group's web address is given, and a few interviewees mention the role their faith, and Christ in particular, plays in why they participate and how they and others benefit.
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What's the story?
In WHERE LOVE FOUND ME, filmmaker Hudson (Andrew Cheney) is riding along with a cop in the Philippines, looking for a compelling story he can hopefully sell to a TV network. Among the poorest of the poor he meets the recently orphaned Rubilyn, and without any better ideas takes her to an orphanage. Eventually his guilt about the harsh conditions there, and the encouragement of a network executive interested in "Ruby's" story, call him back to the orphanage to try and find her. But Ruby's already run away. Through dogged determination and a bit of luck, he manages to track Ruby down and starts filming her life with a group of orphaned street performers. As he gets to know Ruby and her friends, he begins to wonder what he can do to help them, and it's starting to look like making a documentary about her just won't be enough. Hudson and his wife's affections for Ruby grow deeper, but are they brave enough to take the biggest step of their, and Ruby's, lives?
Is it any good?
At its heart is a compelling story about an orphan who finds a family's love when it's least expected, but the movie doesn't quite deliver when it comes to connecting with the characters. In its eagerness to show international adoption in the best possible light, and to tug at the heartstrings in the face of overwhelming and dire need, Where Love Found Me provides a lot of food for thought for those in a position to help others, but as a movie the characters and story are often stilted or fall flat. Cutting to real footage of adoptions before the credits even roll undermines the movie as a story and feels manipulative at best, in spite of the intentions behind the message.
Mature themes, harsh realities, and some scary action make it best suited for teens and up who are ready to start asking what they can do to make the world a better place. Lots of issues are raised for those ready to take on themes like the white savior, poverty, adoption, and how to keep going in the face of overwhelming obstacles like crime and an uncaring society.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the faith-based messages in Where Love Found Me. Are the messages universal, or do they seem to be mostly for Christians? Why?
Do the depictions of violence and life on the streets serve a purpose here, or are they for entertainment? How much violence is OK to show, and does it make a difference depending on the filmmaker's message? Why?
Were you adopted, or do you know someone who is? Did this movie change your ideas or feelings about adoption? In what way?
- In theaters: May 1, 2016
- On DVD or streaming: January 2, 2018
- Cast: Kaitlin Cheung, Andrew Cheney
- Director: David Bolt
- Studio: Inspired Family Entertainment
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Character Strengths: Compassion, Empathy
- Run time: 84 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: Thematic content and some violence
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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