Somewhere Between with special guest Q&A with Dir. Linda Goldstein Knowlton
Enjoy these special screenings of Somewhere Between with special guest Q&A with Director Linda Goldstein Knowlton. She will be in attendance for four screenings over three days during opening weekend of the film. Additional screenings will continue in the days to follow without a question and answer session.
Enjoy this rare opportunity to meet Chicago native Linda Goldstein Knowlton and cast members of the documentary and ask them questions about Somewhere Between during a brief question and answer session after each of these screenings:
Friday, January 11, 2013, 7:30pm
Saturday, January 12, 2013, 3:00pm
Saturday, January 12, 2013 7:30pm
Sunday, Janaury 13, 2013, 2:00pm
Additional screenings through January 17th will not include a Q&A.
For groups of 20 or more please email groups@musicboxtheatre for a special group rate.
About the Q and A panel:
LINDA GOLDSTEIN KNOWLTON
Linda Goldstein Knowlton co-directed and co-produced the feature-length documentary, THE WORLD ACCORDING TO SESAME STREET. The film examines Sesame Street’s international co-productions, made primarily in some of the world’s political hotspots, including Kosovo, Bangladesh, and South Africa. The film made its World Premiere in competition at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival as an Official Selection in the U.S. Documentary category. The film was selected and screened at the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto, the Seattle Film Festival, and other festivals including Boston, Dubrovnik, New Zealand, Melbourne, and Zurich.
Born and raised in Chicago, Goldstein Knowlton studied neuroscience at Brown University. Following college, she remained in Providence to serve the governor of Rhode Island in the Office of Intergovernmental Relations. She subsequently worked raising funds for film preservation at The American Film Institute, in Washington, D.C., and, later, in Los Angeles. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.
During production, Ann was 14 and lived in a suburb near Philadelphia, PA. White picket fences, a flag on every porch. She loved her life and had little desire to know anything about where she came from. When asked if she would ever like to visit China and explore her roots, she said, “I¹d like to see the orphanage, but I wouldn’t want to meet my birth parents.” Her attitude, however, shifted when she met other adopted girls in the CAL/Global Girls organization, and signed up for a trip to Europe with them. Once she was exposed to the innermost thoughts of other girls like her, girls who admit they have a nagging desire to find their roots, her world cracks open.
Ann is finishing her freshman year at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She is an International Business major and is a member of Phi Sigma Pi, a national coeducational honor fraternity. She and Haley remain close friends.
When we see her in the film, Jenna is 15 and attends the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. She plays guitar, is the JV crew coxswain, and a member of the ice hockey team. She’s bright, serious, and articulate. She struggles with the pressure to be “perfect,” and her fears of being rejected if she’s not. As strong as she is, she breaks down discussing the word “abandonment” and its effect on her life. And, in her sophomore year of high school, her carefully constructed walls begin to crumble. She thinks more and more about her birth mother: Who was she? Why did she give Jenna up? The film documents her courage and commitment to facing her past as she volunteers for summer work at the very Chinese orphanage that housed her as an infant.
Jenna is finishing up her sophomore year at Yale University, where she majors in Socio-cultural Anthropology and participates in a Chinese dance troupe called Phoenix. She is the founder and president of Adopted Yalies, a student group for adopted people, and she¹s the founder and director of The Teen Program, a subset of Chinese Adopted Siblings Program for Youth (CASPY), which is a big sibling/little sibling program for Chinese adoptees in the greater New Haven area. This summer she will search for her birth family and plans to document the process. Through this autoethnographic project, she hopes to share the methods used and the external and internal obstacles encountered, in order to provide a resource for younger adoptees who also may wish to search for their birth families. This research is funded by the Kingsley Trust Association Summer Travel Fellowship, the Yale College Public Service Research Grant, and the Yale College Dean’s Research Fellowship in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
FANG ‘JENNI’ LEE
We meet Fang, a fiercely intelligent young woman, when she is 14 and a resident of famously liberal Berkeley, CA. She was adopted at age five, is fluent in Mandarin, and remembers vividly being left by her biological brother on a street corner. In Berkeley, however, she is safe and secure‹until her family starts to unravel. Her adopted parents divorce, and Fang must relive the “abandonment” she faced as a small child. Amid this emotional turmoil, Fang travels to China and sees a little girl in a Chinese foster home, unmoving because of her cerebral palsy. Touched, Fang becomes determined to find the little girl a home. This self-imposed task becomes Fang¹s salvation, letting her watch her own adoption story unfold anew with this little girl and turning her past into her strength.
Fang is finishing her freshman year at Mt. Holyoke, where she is a double major in sociology and economics and is a member of the Mt. Holyoke Tennis Team. Some of her favorite hobbies include dancing, swimming, yoga, taking walks, writing poetry, having impromptu pow-wows with her friends, and attending lectures given by guest speakers. She plans to spend the summer in Tibet doing an internship program.
directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton in English
This film follows four teenage girls adopted from China as they attempt to answer the uniquely human question, “Who am I?”
Four baby girls are born in China to families who are unable to keep them, largely because of China’s “One Child Policy.” Instead of being raised by their biological parents, the baby girls are raised in orphanages, and then eventually adopted by American families to be whisked halfway around the world to the United States. There, they grow up with Sesame Street, hip-hop, and Twitter. They describe themselves as “bananas”: white on the inside and yellow on the outside. All is well, until they hit their teen years, when their pasts pull at them, and they begin to wonder, “Who am I?”
All four know they were probably “given up” because they were girls (they are understandably uncomfortable with the word “abandoned”), and grapple with issues of race, gender, and identity more acutely than most their age.
Documentaries have been made before about international adoption, but they have always been from the point of view of the adoptive, Caucasian parents, or the adult adoptee. Young women’s voices are rarely heard—especially young women of color. Somewhere Between lets four teenaged girls—Fang, Haley, Ann, and Jenna—tell their own stories, letting the film unfold from their points of view and shedding light on their deepest thoughts: about their families, their feelings of being “other,” and their powerful connections to a past that most of them cannot recall.
The film captures nearly three years in the lives of these four dynamic young women. The emotional journey took the film crew across America where they documented the girls in their hometowns, facing racism and struggling with stereotypes. Their journeys were also documented as they traveled to Europe to meet other transracial adoptees and back to China, where they witnessed China’s gender gap resulting from its One Child Policy.
The film also witnesses their emotional coming-of-age. As the girls discover who they are, viewers—no matter their color, gender, or culture—will find themselves exploring their own sense of identity and their feelings about family and belonging. Through their experiences, we will also see our still-prevalent cultural disconnects around stereotyping and race.
As Somewhere Between plunges the viewer into the ordinary and extraordinary days of these four girls lives, we, too, are forced to pause and consider who we are—both as individuals and as a nation of immigrants.