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Somewhere Between

157 customer reviews

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(Feb 05, 2013)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In profiling Chinese adoptees in contemporary America, this deeply moving documentary from Linda Goldstein Knowlton (The World According to Sesame Street) illustrates that even the most specific of experiences can be universally relatable. Of the roughly 80,000 girls who have been adopted from China since 1989 a decade after China implemented its One Child Policy the film intimately follows four teenagers: Haley, Jenna, Ann and Fang.

These four wise-beyond-their-years yet typical American teens reveal a heartbreaking sense of self-awareness as they attempt to answer the uniquely human question, "Who am I?" They meet and bond with other adoptees, some journey back to China to reconnect with the culture, and some reach out to the orphaned girls left behind. In their own ways, all attempt to make sense of their complex identities. Issues of belonging, race and gender are brought to life through these articulate subjects, who approach life with honesty and open hearts.


Poignant and intimate…You'd have to be a stone not to be moved. --Los Angeles Times

Delicately wrought, deeply felt --Variety

Interesting, heartfelt look at the lives and cultural awakening of Chinese girls adopted into the U.S. --New York Magazine

Special Features

Bonus disc includes a one-hour companion piece to the film, Beyond Somewhere Between, a deeper exploration of adoption and identity, using interviews with professionals, adult adoptees and unseen footage of the girls.

Product Details

  • Directors: Linda Goldstein Knowlton
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Cantonese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: February 5, 2013
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,394 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Vicky Reader on November 20, 2012
Format: DVD
I took my 16 year old adopted daughter to see this film in the theatre, thinking it would help her think about her history and identity, and might start a conversation about some difficult topics she must be thinking about. While the movie inspired and moved me, my daughter simply thought it was 'sad' and assured me that she was not that concerned about exploring her identity as an adoptee. It is possible that what these girls did was just more than she could imagine herself ever doing.

The movie follows four real teenage girls who connect with each other through an on-line community for adoptees from China. The film weaves together several adventures the girls have, showing them meeting and traveling together, often with one of the girls narrating the experience. The two main trips I remember were one to Barcelona where one of the girls participates in a panel discussion on adoption and addresses the very raw topic of abandonment, and a trip to China where another girl, incredibly, locates her birth parents and meets them. Both of these are things that most teenagers could not and would not do. We do see the parents of the girl who finds her birth parents actively engaged, but otherwise, the girls appear to be doing all of this on their own.

The girls in the film are impressive - accomplished, thoughtful, kind, independent, and above all, brave. My overwhelming impression was of pride in the girls, who are seeking out these difficult experiences and sharing their most painful, private feelings with each other and, of course the movie audience.

It is highly unrealistic for a child adopted from a Chinese orphanage to expect that they can just post an advertisement on the wall of their hometown and find their birth parents.
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Format: DVD
The documentary "Somewhere Between" was conceived as almost literally a labor of love. In 2008, the director, Lisa Goldstein Knowlton, and her husband had adopted a baby girl from China, and Knowlton wanted to have some idea of what her daughter would have to experience as she got older. As a veteran film producer (Whale Rider, The Shipping News, Crazy in Alabama) as well as director of documentaries (The World According to Sesame Street and others), it was natural for Knowlton to decide to document what she found out, and in the process be able to one day show her daughter everything she had learned.

In 1979, China, faced with forecasts of severe over-population, implemented a strict one-child policy in an attempt to limit its population growth. Since traditionally Chinese families favored boys over girls, many families wanted their one child to be a boy. The result was large numbers of infant girls being either given up for adoption or simply abandoned. Over the ensuing years some 175,000 children from China - overwhelmingly girls - have been placed in adopted homes in 26 countries. Of these, about 80,000 ended up in the United States. Knowlton picked four of these now-teenage girls as the subjects of her documentary and ended up spending three years following and interviewing them about their lives, particularly their experiences of and thoughts on being "somewhere between" Chinese and American.

The four girls - aged 13 through 15 - whom Knowlton selected to interview and follow proved to be excellent choices for the documentary. All are personable, highly articulate and self-aware, particularly when it comes to the issue of knowing that they belong to two very different cultures.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. Cunningham on December 3, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this movie last night. The emotions I felt left me speechless for hours. This is a must see film for any parent who has or is considering adoption - especially internationally. I am so proud of the girls who told their stories and honestly gave their perspectives on being adopted from a foreign country. They are articulate, smart, sensitive and very in touch with their feelings. I want my adopted daughter from China to see this film when she is older and asking the tough teenage questions these girls are facing about who they are. I found the reunion with the birth family thought provoking and tragic. My daughter's birth mother has been in my prayers since I made the decision to adopt from China. I was very touched by the birth father's emotions, as I had not really thought about his feelings before. I highly recommend this film. Please be certain that your child is mature enough to handle the tough questions of abandonment and birth family reunions. The content is definately PG-13 or above.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Renee on November 20, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Saw the movie this past weekend and I cannot possibly give it the acclaim that it deserves! The young women in this movie are articulate, intelligent and their insights are profound. This is a must-have for any family who has adopted from China, and anyone else who is at a crossroads with exploring and finding their identity. Superbly made movie, etc., etc., etc.! The only caution I would give to parents is that you may wish to preview the movie prior to seeing it with your teenager since your child may or may not be emotionally ready or prepared to delve into the subject matter that is presented. Under no circumstances would I take a child under the age of fourteen.
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