Approved for Adoption Review
RYAN: This is an incredibly powerful, unique film. It’s part live action, part animated and flips between narrative story and documentary. I’ve never seen a movie like this before and like any good film, it starts with a good story.
CAROLINE: What’s it about?
RYAN: It’s the story of a boy who was born in Korea but adopted and raised in Belgium. It’s his coming of age with a hardcore identity crisis; feeling like he’s not a part of any world. But it’s told in a way that makes you deeply feel what he experiences. That’s the brilliance of this unusual technique and I was actually crying at the end.
CAROLINE: Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever heard you use that word before. You barely even tear up at movies.
RYAN: Sometimes I get misty but this one really got to me. And it’s not sad as much as it’s touching. It really affected me.
CAROLINE: I love how movies can do that.
RYAN: True. Entertainment, art with a message. It’s really cool and the mingling between the animated story that acts like a reenactment of his memories, cut between documentary footage is not only technically innovative, but very effective as a story device.
CAROLINE: It does sound cool.
RYAN: As an adult, he eventually returns to Korea, looking for his birth mother but he realizes he’s been living his life in a fantasy world; basically denying who he is. Some of the scenes illustrating his childhood were traumatic for him, especially his relationship with his adoptive mother.
CAROLINE: I’m intrigued.
RYAN: It raises interesting issues we don’t normally think about. Like the thousands of kids adopted from other nations and the issues they face – feeling like an outsider within your own family and resentment leading to self destruction, etc… it hits hard.
CAROLINE: It sounds really intense.
RYAN: But it’s all told with a deft and delicate touch. The animation is beautiful. The drawing is very soft and pretty and the main character, Jung Henin – the director (it’s his story), is himself a cartoonist so it’s all the more fitting that it’s part animated.
CAROLINE: I like how it’s different but works. That’s a cool accomplishment.
RYAN: I’m blown away by this film. It’s a huge dose of reality disguised in an entertaining story. It’s absolutely worth seeing for enjoyment and to start some conversations.