Sunday, March 21, 2010

Review of Wo Ai Ni Mommy

I posted a trailer to this documentary about an American family's adoption of an 8-year-old Chinese girl. It received a very positive review from 8Asians blog, which also reveals some more details about the film:

What is amazing is how quickly Faith becomes fluent in English and embraces her adoptive family while also sadly losing her ability to speak Mandarin and Cantonese, so much that the filmmaker’s Cantonese speaking friend is brought over during a visit when Faith speaks to her foster family in China via Skype. We discover that Faith has little opportunity to speak her native language, except for the weekends where she studies at a Chinese language school. This reminded me of my own youth, when I first spoke Mandarin as a baby and little kid, but quickly forgot the language when I entered elementary school (and attended Chinese school on the weekends until high school).

The film reveals a part of Faith who is sad to lose her Mandarin and Cantonese fluency as she becomes more fluent in English, because it makes her feel less “Chinese.” She also has a hard time understanding why a white American family would want to adopt a Chinese girl, subconsciously tackling the issues about race and identity as a Chinese American. I think many of Faith’s struggles are some of the same issues that all Asian Americans growing up in the U.S. have come had to
understand in varying degrees. I personally was surprised to find how much I could relate to Faith’s dilemmas brought up in this film even though I was not adopted.

* * *

But Wo Ai Ni [I love you] Mommy is more than a film about adoption; it is also an amazing story of love and family from both Faith and Donna’s point of view.

If you’re unable to catch the film at other screenings throughout the country, you can catch it on PBS this Fall, as the documentary has been picked up by POV: Documentaries with a point of view. Like others, I highly recommend this film and have become a fan on Facebook! Go see the film!

5 comments:

Joanne said...

The stars of this documentary are actually a local family of mine and belong to my FCC group. I have not had the pleasure of meeting Faith yet though! We are all looking forward to viewing this!

Diane said...

I am worried that my heart might get severed from my body when viewing this film. Having adopted an 8 year old from foster care in China...I'm nervous. I will never ever forget my daughter's last phone conversation with her foster family. The struggle to understand...the profound self-loathing for the inability to understand. They told her to never forget her Chinese- and she did. I listened to the mutual gut frustration. To watch that language barrier rise is so hard to describe. We tried. My daughter tried. They expected. Brings tears to remember and to live with now.

Anonymous said...

I have mixed feelings about exposing this girl's life. Yes, she consented, but she is still very young. Again, mixed feelings about this, not sure I want to see it for that reason...

LisaLew said...

I agree with anonymous. The film seems like an invasion of this little girl's privacy. I think it might be healthier to journey with her family and extended Chinese foster family without the whole world watching.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Lisa. Exactly.

As an AP I think we really have to travel alongside our children without approximating our notion of public service without realizing that the child's privacy should come without an audience.