By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act August 27, 2013 at 5:41PM
Here's a trailer for what looks like a touching feature documentary about a trans-racial adoptee who finds her birth mother, and meets the rest of a family who didn't know she existed, including her birth father.
Aptly titled Closure, the film is directed by Bryan Tucker (his first film), and stars Angela Tucker. Here's an official synopsis with more detail:
Angela was in foster care until she was adopted at the age of one in Chattanooga, TN, under the terms of a 'closed' adoption. As an African American raised by a Caucasian couple in Bellingham, WA, (in a diverse family consisting of seven other adopted siblings), she had a confused sense of identity while growing up. As Angela grew older it became apparent that the unanswered questions about her birth story would continue to haunt her if she did not at least attempt to find the answers. The documentary journeys alongside Angela for a period of two years during her search, leading her back to Chattanooga to come face to face with her birth parents, and meet family members who never knew she existed.
The film has been traveling the festival/screening series circuit, and the filmmakers have partnered up with Tugg to help bring it to local movie theaters across the USA!
In recent years, Tugg has been successful in helping many indie films get one-off screenings in theaters based on their crowdsourcing model. While Tugg is financially risk-free for all parties involved (host, filmmaker, theater), it does require effort through crowdsourcing to help pre-sell enough tickets to ensure the screening is booked. We've had interest from a handful of adoption groups and agencies about screening CLOSURE, and I feel Tugg is a wonderful resource to help make those screenings happen!
We've profiled a number of documentaries in the last 12-24 months that tell somewhat similar tales of young black men and women who were adopted by white families as babies, only to grow up wanting to re-connect with their birth parents, as issues of identify fester within; or films about the adoption of children of African descent, by white, usually American or European, parents.
For example, there was Off and Running - Nicole Opper's documentary about an adopted African American teen raised by lesbian Jewish parents in Brooklyn. The 75-minute film centers on Avery, a typical Brooklyn teen, living in an atypical, United Nations-style melting pot. Her adoptive parents are white Jewish lesbians, her younger brother is Korean, her older brother is mixed-race, and she is black. Though her household is loving, she can't quite quell her curiosity about her biological African American roots. The decision to contact her birth mother sparks a complicated exploration of race and identity.
There's also Katrine Kjaer's Mercy, Mercy, which shows the downside to international adoption, as Ethiopian toddlers given up for adoption by their sick parents in the hope they'll have a better life. The two toddlers move to Denmark with their new Danish parents, but the film asks whether they better off now. For 4 years, the filmmaker followed both parent couples: Danes Henriette and Gert who are on the verge of despair over the rebellious youths who don't want to adjust to their new family; meanwhile, Ethiopians Sinkenesh and Husen are desperate because they're not receiving any news about their children, as the adoption agency promised. Conflict.
And there's also Sonia Godding Togobo's feature documentary, Adoption ID, about a Haitian woman adopted by white Canadians, who returns to Haiti to find her biological family; as well as Julia Ivanova's Family Portrait in Black and White, which centers on a Ukrainian woman who single-handedly raises 23 foster children. Sixteen are the biracial offspring of visiting African students and Ukrainian women, who, living in a country of blue-eyed blondes that’s racked with endemic racism, often see no choice but to abandon their babies. Amongst the children she adopted are, a high-schooler struggling to transcend his plight through education, a boy longing to reunite with his Ugandan father, and a child courted for Italian adoption, and otherss.
Meanwhile, you can follow Bryan Tucker's Closure via the film's Facebook page HERE, or its website HERE, where you'll find upcoming screening dates, including Doctober Festival in Bellingham, WA in October; and the Minnesota Transracial Film Festival in Minneapolis, MN, in November.