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WATCH: Exclusive Clip from Upcoming TIFF Doc 'The Dark Matter of Love'

Photo of Jacob Combs By Jacob Combs | Thompson on Hollywood August 30, 2013 at 1:32PM

In her new documentary about an American family and their adopted Russian children, director Sarah McCarthy examines the complex interplay of politics, family and love.
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Masha, Claudio and Cheryl Diaz's daughter.
Double Bounce Films Masha, Claudio and Cheryl Diaz's daughter.

Claudio and Cheryl Diaz live in Wisconsin with their four children. One, Cami, is their biological daughter; the others are three orphans whom the couple adopted from Russia: 11-year-old Masha and 5-year-old twins Marcel and Vadim.

This is the world of "The Dark Matter of Love," a new documentary by director Sarah McCarthy premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival next weekend.  

McCarthy followed the family through their first year together, as Masha, Marcel and Vadim adjusted to life in America and Claudio and Cheryl turned to developmental psychologist Dr. Robert Marvin for insight from his scientific research on the nature of love.

Late last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law that banned American citizens from adopting Russian children.  As The New York Times reported when the bill was approved, the ban added new strain to an already tense diplomatic relationship and disrupted plans for many American families in the final stages of adopting children from Russia.

In the lyrical clip below from "The Dark Matter of Love," provided exclusively to Thompson On Hollywood!, Dr. Marvin discusses the challenge faced by parents like Claudio and Cheryl as they welcome new family members into their home.  "A family's job," he says, "is to teach the child, in a sense, to dance this new dance."

"The Dark Matter of Love" premieres in Toronto on September 7.

This article is related to: Documentary, Toronto International Film Festival, Sarah McCarthy, Politics


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.