Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Found - Documentary Review

The Documentary: Found

The Director: Amanda Lipitz

The Story: Three adopted American teenage girls discover that they are blood-related cousins. Their online meeting inspires the young women to confront complicated and emotional questions, and embark on a once in a lifetime journey to China together in search of answers, connections, and their lost history.

The Review:
I imagine this story is much more common that one might imagine as there has to be so many adoptees around the world who have no idea where their parents might be or even any idea of who they are. The fact that these young ladies were able to discover each other through DNA testing and then go on their journey to the other side of the world is actually quite extraordinary and director Amanda Lipitz tells their story in a very insightful and respectful way.

From the beginning, the documentary follows each of the girls individually and highlights their unique experiences as the begin the process of discovery and then shifts to them getting to know each other and finally travelling together. Lipitz shows how each of them grow as human beings experiencing life as teenagers which adds a relatable quality and I really felt like I was getting to know them on a very personal level. The director is also the aunt of one of the girls which I'm sure helped to add that layer of authenticity that comes across in telling their story.

There are many layers to this story beyond the three girls and Lipitz deftly weaves them all into the narrative creating a well rounded look at humanity and how, no matter where we are or how we are raised, we are all essentially people who just want to be happy. One of the most interesting storylines of the documentary is of the woman whose job it is to find parents of adopted children in China especially since she herself was given up for adoption. She is very passionate about her work and takes great care to make sure potential matches are handled with the utmost care and respect whether they turn out to be positive or not.

The documentary also presents a fair amount of social and political commentary both in relation to the U.S. and China including race relations, class structure, and more specifically, how China's One Child Policy affected so many people in so many ways. I was very impressed with the director's ability to provide so much information while keeping it all within the context of the primary narrative and also putting it together in a way that you can't help but becoming emotionally invested in.

I also have to mention the song Mystery of Me which was created for the documentary by MILCK and performed by Phillipa Soo, who will probably recognize from her performance as Eliza in Hamilton. The song embodies the spirit of the film perfectly and is just as inspirational as all of the women we see in the film. Oh and one last thing. Shout out to all of the caretakers around the world who give so much of their lives to raise abandoned children and love each one of them as if they were their own.

The Verdict:
Found is an insightful and engaging documentary that is as entertaining as it is informative. Director Amanda Liptiz does a masterful job of creating a film that shows how humanity is inevitably connected even as the world may feel like it wants to keep us apart.

Check out the Podcast!

No comments :

Post a Comment

The Hot List