Linda Goldstein Knowlton’s exploration of Chinese cross-cultural adoption had its world premiere last year at Hot Docs, where it won the people’s choice award. It went on to win a jury prize in Milwaukee, and also screened at Vancouver, Aspen, Portland, and LAFF among others.
I wrote about the film out of Hot Docs for Indiewire, saying:
Finally, this issue of belonging is key to Linda Goldstein Knowlton’s SOMEWHERE BETWEEN, which had its world premiere at Hot Docs this week. The director of THE WORLD ACCORDING TO SESAME STREET embarked on this film after she adopted her young daughter from China. Concerned about the questions her daughter might ask her about identity and cross-cultural adoption, Goldstein Knowlton sought out teenage girls who were similarly adopted from China and raised in the US. Her young subjects speak eloquently about their experiences, and on their varying desire to reconnect with their places of origin to gain a greater sense of self, reach closure with their pasts, or find a truer sense of belonging to their original cultural and homeland. While the doc is unquestionably emotionally affecting, I felt that two of the young women’s stories — Fang, who bonds with a little Chinese girl with cerebral palsy and helps her get adopted; and Hailey, whose return to the site of her abandonment yields surprising results — overshadow the other two subjects, who I’m hard pressed to even remember at this point. In addition, the brief bookends, explaining via narration the filmmaker’s personal reasons for making the film, are unnecessary; I’d prefer to see them gone completely. Still, the film is successful at getting to the heart of some rather huge issues around identity and belonging.