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Preview 'Mercy Mercy' (Feature Doc That Shows The Downside To International Adoption)

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act November 14, 2012 at 12:11PM

The short version of the story goess... At first sight, adoption seems like a win-win situation: a poor orphan gets some loving parents and a good life. But the world of adoption is a question of supply and demand, with Ethiopia as a chief supplier of thousands of needy children. The fact that the well-being of the child is not always top priority becomes painfully clear in this tragic story about Masho and her little brother Roba.
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'Mercy, Mercy'

The short version of the story goess... At first sight, adoption seems like a win-win situation: a poor orphan gets some loving parents and a good life. But the world of adoption is a question of supply and demand, with Ethiopia as a chief supplier of thousands of needy children. The fact that the well-being of the child is not always top priority becomes painfully clear in this tragic story about Masho and her little brother Roba.

Far from being orphans, their sick parents give them up for adoption in the hope they'll have a better life. The two toddlers move to Denmark with their new parents, but are they better off now?

For 4 years, filmmaker Katrine Kjaer followed both parent couples: Danes Henriette and Gert are on the verge of despair over the rebellious Masho, who doesn't want to adjust to her 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.

Director Kjaer documents all of it on film; Emotional moments such as the transfer of the children, and the tensions in their home in Denmark, are said to be shot from a respectful distance.

Without losing sight of the nuances, the film, titled Mercy, Mercy, shows the downside to international adoption, the contrast between Ethiopia and Denmark, and the parallel pain of both parents and children.

I'm intrigued. Discussions about international adoption abound, providing lots of fodder for all kinds of media. 

No footage to see yet unfortunately. The film is currently being shopped at the IDFA in Amsterdam, which runs starting today, through the 25th.

We have our eyes on it...


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