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Off and Running

Avery Klein-Cloud , Nicole Opper  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Avery Klein-Cloud
  • Directors: Nicole Opper
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: August 17, 2010
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0031SZERW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,400 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Off and Running" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

With white Jewish lesbians for parents and two adopted brothers - one mixed-race and one Korean - Brooklyn teen Avery, a local track star in high school, grew up in a unique and loving household. But Avery's curiosity about her African-American roots compels her to contact her birth mother, thrusting her into a complicated exploration of race and identity that threatens to distance her from her family. But when Avery decides to pick up the pieces of her life and make sense of her identity, the results are inspiring. OFF AND RUNNING follows Avery to the brink of adulthood, exploring the strength of family bonds and the lengths people must go to become themselves.


An amazing story about adoption, families, love and perseverance... beautiful, honest and inspiring. I recommend that everybody sees it. --Rosie O'Donnell

Critics' Pick! Fascinating and intimate. --New York Magazine

As the father of an adopted daughter, I was very moved. But the film is so well done that just about anybody will have that feeling. --V.A. Musetto, New York Post

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Inspiring Coming-of-Age Story January 6, 2011
Sitting at a table, using her left hand, Avery Klein-Cloud is writing a letter to her biological mother, reaching out to her for the first time in Avery's 18 years of life. The `Cloud' is her adoptive mother, Travis, from Illinois. `Klein' is another mother of an adopted child, Rafi. `Klein,' (called `Tova' by Avery) is from Israel. She has raised Avery Jewish--and from my personal `Reform' perspective, very Jewish. The two mothers met at a meeting of single parents with adopted children, when Avery was an infant, and when Rafi was about the same age. When Avery was ten, the two mothers adopted a third child, Zay-Zay.

Avery is a dark-skinned African-American, the two mothers are Caucasian, Rafi is of mixed-race origin, and Zay-Zay is Korean. The family lives in Brooklyn, and they have a nickname--"The United Nations." Two forces intrude in this happy family's life--Avery's inevitable identity crisis and Nicole Opper's accomplished documentary filmmaking skills.

Although we get to know the whole family, the focus is on Avery, a competitive runner. We get a sense of her daily life, her thoughts and feelings, and we see her running. Reaching out to her biological mother is the first manifestation we see of Avery's identity crisis. How she and The United Nations respond to this crisis is the crux of the story.

My hat is off to everyone who created "Off and Running". I was right with every member of this family as they struggle through the crisis. My psychologist self wanted to put Avery in individual therapy immediately, and, especially, put The United Nations in family therapy. But, just like our inability to advise the scantily clad ingénue on the screen, "Don't go in that room!!!", I couldn't help them.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicole Opper's work makes for compelling watching December 23, 2010
I saw Nicole Opper's "Off and Running" as part of the POV offerings on PBS. It's been one of the best of the series. Opper gets her camera deeply entrenched into the Klein-Cloud household. Just by showing you what daily life is like in the house, Opper's lens deftly demonstrates that two Moms can provide parental leadership and a nurturing, loving household just as well as the heads of any (quote, unquote) traditional family.

That's what makes it so head-scratching when the film's center - adopted African-American daughter Avery Klein-Cloud - begins to pull away from this strong, loving unit. She becomes - as one of her Moms aptly puts it - caught up in the drama of her own life. First, she gets fired up to connect with her birth mother and get in touch with her roots. Definitely understandable. But when that high interest isn't reciprocated, she seems to unspool slowly. I couldn't fully understand why she began to drift away. Her Moms can't understand why. They're completely vexed, to say the least. Nor is Avery herself capable of fully explaining it. It's clear from Opper's lingering camera that she can't either. But it surely makes for compelling watching.
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