Monday, September 2, 2013

Documentary Somewhere Between at Pitt, September 16.

Somewhere Between Pittsburgh 2013

The documentary Somewhere Between, about Chinese adoptees in the United States, is finally coming to Pittsburgh with a September 16th screening at the University of Pittsburgh. Roger Ebert gave an overview of themes in a January 2013 review:
Four girls: each abandoned, each eventually adopted by an American family. Now they are teenagers in American suburbs, a world of minivans and school activities. Each is clearly confident enough to navigate her local terrain. Each is introspective about her roots, curious about her origins, though perhaps not so confident about meeting her birth family, should that possibility arise.

The movie explores the psychology of being immigrant in American society. The young women have that consciousness that minority status in America forces. Immigrants are simultaneously insiders and outsiders, always conscious of our identities. The sense of exile from all lands, living somewhere between this and that, is the norm. Many immigrants respond by trying to surrender everything that would be deemed “exotic,” whether it means overcompensation with language, makeup, or even surgery. These girls, however, seem exceptionally comfortable in their own skins. I suspect much of that has to do with the fact that their experience is an exponentially exaggerated version of the common immigrant experience. But, I suspect that just as much results from their adoptive parents' concerns in raising them. One mother learned Chinese, while all the parents seem to take their adoptive daughters back to China, almost annually.
Somewhere Between will be shown at 7:30 pm, September 16, in 1500 Posvar Hall (map) on the University of Pittsburgh campus. It's free, and include discussion from three speakers. See the flyer above for more on the screening, and the movie's official website for more on the documentary.