Monday, January 14, 2013

Adoption + Foster Care Movies

For those of you who were asking, here is a quick list of adoption and foster care themed movies - check them out and let me know what you think - good or bad - in the comments section.

  • Have you seen any of these? 
  • Which one is the "best" and why? 
  • Which one is the "worst" and why? 
  • Also, tell me what I missed, as there really are so, so many movies that deal directly or indirectly with these topics. 

 DVD & Digital Download available at: http://closuredocumentary.com/

http://vimeo.com/ondemand/findingseoul/70263925














































Not specifically foster/adopt but highly recommended:




K, now that you've seen the list:
  • Have you seen any of  these?  
  • Which one is the "best" and why?  
  • Which one is the "worst" and why?
  • Also, tell me what I missed... independent films about adoption + foster-care or less well known films?

43 comments :

  1. White Oleander (2002) is about a girl in foster care after her mom goes to jail.

    I haven't seen it but my friends tell me we should watch the movie Precious, about a girl who SHOULD have been in foster care but sadly was not moved out of her abusive situation.

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    1. I haven't seen White Oleander, but will put it on the list - Precious I have seen and man, oh man, that poor girl. The whole movie you just want to make it stop. Worth a watch, to understand some of our kids lives, but high intensity and not at ALL for kids.

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    2. White Oleander is a very intense film definitely not for children. It has some very bad moments and some incredibly good moments. I won't blow the story line for you, but I will tell you definitely have Kleenex nearby!

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    3. I had a teenaged foster son with me and he had asked to see this movie. He had been very quiet since being with us for a few months. Just hadn't really opened up yet. At the scene with the frying pan (that's all I'll say so as not to spoil the movie), he blurted out "oh my God Ma". I asked him what was wrong & he said "that was my life, like for real". I paused the movie & asked him what he meant & he said he couldntcouldn't believe the girl's life in the movie was how it had been for him. He was shocked that someone else had lived like that. He had thought he was the only one. We talked for a long time about the fact that he was by no means alone. That it was terrible that he had to ever live like that & that unfortunately, there are too many other children who are forced to endure that kind of life. He opened up like a dam had broken. Seeing Precious in the movie made him realize that he ddidn't "deserve" to be treated that way anymore than Precious did. It was a turning point for him & for us as a family unit. He had been a "turn in" where the parent had dropped him off at DHR because the parent decided they didn't want to be bothered anymore. No one at DHR had even been aware of the abuse that went on in that family until he finally broke down. There were tears & hugs. You just never know what will be the catalyst for a child to open up to you. This is a hard movie to watch. It's very real & very rough. It is NOT a Hallmark version of abuse.

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  2. I would definitely add Lilo & Stitch to the list. :)

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    1. Added - thanks, that is a good one, even if he is an alien. :)

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  3. You could add Follow That Bird to your list. Definite adoption overtones in that. Also, Orphan (which I would place firmly at the bottom of the list. It is so offensive and creepy. And Child of Rage is a Lifetime movie that focuses on a child with attatchment disorder (I'm sure you've seen it.)

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    1. Child of Rage is a good one and so insightful as well.

      Orphan... well, I agree, so bottom of the barrel that I'm not going to even put it on the list. Yuck.

      I haven't seen Follow that Bird, I'll check it out.

      THANKS!

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  4. Martian Child, I'd say is the best on the list because you could potentially watch it with an adopted or foster child and discuss it. It conveys issues from a child's perspective, and also what a foster/adoptive parent might experience.

    Losing Isaiah is a movie I've always come back to again and again. One of a precious few that tells both sides of a story (adoptive family and bio family) and how difficult it can be for everyone involved. I like that it does not villianize the bio mom, but shows that she loves her child just as much as the adoptive mom does, and that they work together to makes things right for him.

    Juno is one I would put firmly at the bottom of the list. Admittedly, I've never watched this one too closely, but I really disliked how the teenage mother character was portrayed. Just could not watch at all - as the child of a teenage mother myself, who is amazing, strong, and smart. It hurt me to see teen moms portrayed in such a manner.

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    1. Agree whole heartedly with Martian Child - sometimes I watch it just to remember why I do foster care in the first place. :)

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    2. Funny - I forgot LES MIS. :) Added now.

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  5. There's a lot here I haven't seen! But favorite is probably Losing Isaiah because it showed what I think is a pretty fair balance of both sides.

    And I agree with the poster above who recommended Precious, even though it isn't about foster/adopt directly.

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  6. The male lead in the first Step Up movie is a teen in foster care. Not centered around it, but I like it because it's just part of the plot & thus normal in a way.

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  7. Gracie's Choice (TV movie)
    I Am Sam (fabulous - highly recommended.)
    August Rush

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  8. I loved August Rush.... there was no adoption there and the choices that were made for the young couple were portrayed exactly as they were - wrong.

    I despise Juno. That is the most self-serving load of crap ever.

    Antwone Fisher - a plus. It shows some of the reality of what it is like to be one of the kids and to be put in a bad place and left. The results and the power that it takes to overcome it.

    And, for those that don't know - I am a former foster child and a birth mother (FIRST mother). The rest of those films either are just ignorant or one-sided.

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    1. Thanks Lori! Have you seen any movies that portray the first mother perspective well at all? I can't think of any, but wonder if you've seen any...

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  9. Curly Sue (one of my all time favorite movies)

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  10. The Odd Life of Timothy Green!

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  11. I just watched one today on Netflix called "First Circle" as decribed:

    FIRST CIRCLE is a feature documentary about Foster Care, family and healing in the Western United States. FIRST CIRCLE follows families struggling to heal, administrators working for change, and the isolation of a western landscape responsible for both the manufacturing of and liberation from meth addiction.

    I thought it was interesting to see the views of the bio families and the sheriffs officers. I also found it interesting that they offered a program where they have professional foster parents.

    Check it out: http://www.firstcirclefilm.org/

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    1. I can't find this on Netflix :(

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  12. Silas Marner, by George Eliot. Starring Ben Kingsley.

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  13. Despicable Me, The Lost and Found Family, and The Christmas Bunny are all really great ones my family loves.

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  14. I'm wondering if any one has watched the ABC Family TV Show 'The Fosters'. I've got some recorded episodes but as yet haven't had time to preview to see if truly a good fit for my 12-year old foster/soon-to-be-adopted daughter.

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    1. I am a foster parent and have adopted a child via foster care and I enjoyed watching "The Fosters". My daughter whom I adopted (10 years old) really enjoyed the series and felt like it was spot on for her life. I would watch the first episode alone and if you like the material watch it with your daughter.

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  15. Despicable me and despicable me 2 need adding to the list :)

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  16. We also like the Kung Fu Panda movies. It's a panda adopted by a goose. And the second one is largely centered around him learning of his identity. Granted his parents were killed by the bad guy, but they saved him in the process. Nonetheless, it's a "Who am I?" kind of storyline.

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  17. Sarah's Choice and The Lost and Found Family are both beautiful movies. Definitely add to the list!

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  18. A Simple Twist of Fate with Steve Martin is a good one...loosely based on Silas Marner

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  19. Superman! He was adopted!!

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  20. I would add Butter to the list, but it's definitely not for kids.

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  21. One Tree Hill, Season Six, features a pretty major character who is a foster child. She is very much like me, overlooked and unwanted in the many gaps in the systems.

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  22. The Christmas Bunny is a good movie for kids and family. Its about being accepted.

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  23. All these I'v seen recently on Netflix:

    Any Day Now:
    2012 R 99 minutes
    Rudy and Paul take in their neighbor's teenage son Marco, who has Down syndrome, when his neglectful mother throws him out of her apartment.More Info
    Starring:Alan Cumming,Garret Dillahunt Director:Travis Fine


    Short Term 12
    2013 R 1hr 36m
    A new charge at a foster care facility dredges up the memories of a young supervisor's own troubled past, and her tough exterior begins eroding.

    Stuck
    2013 NR 82 minutes
    Following the fates of four orphans from around the world, this earnest documentary argues that international adoption laws are deeply flawed. More Info
    Starring:
    Mariska Hargitay
    Director:
    Thaddaeus Scheel

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  24. Just watched on Netflix: "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete". Heartwrenching, fair, beautiful. Portrayal of the difficult relationship of a boy and his mother, and the events leading up to him being taken into care. Takes place in Brooklyn NY.

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  25. Once Upon a Time has foster care/adoption themes. They're not "pro" though, which is hard to watch sometimes.

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  26. Punky Brewster! I just re-watched a few episodes on YouTube and it's still cool.

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  27. One i liked was Dustbin Baby. The early eps of home & away (for those who can access it) that centre on the fletchers is one i show as well Although it seems to show a bit more glorified side.

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  28. Another one I just thought of is the remake of Yours, Mine & Ours with Rene Russo & Dennis Quaid

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  29. Do you have any ideas where I can actually get movies like off and running, somewhere between or a shine of rainbows?

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  30. I haven’t watched this movie in a long time, but I believe that in Angels in the Outfield (1994) there are two young boys who are in foster care and I think they get adopted at the end of the movie.

    Some other movies that have some themes of adoption and/or foster care are Disney’s Hercules (1997), Ellen Foster (Hallmark Hall of Fame), Raising Izzie (UP Network), What the Deaf Man Heard (Hallmark Hall of Fame), Redwood Curtain (Hallmark Hall of Fame), Finding a Family (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries), My One Christmas Wish (UP Network), Rose Hill (Hallmark Hall of Fame), The Christmas Hope (Lifetime), Pictures of Hollis Woods (Hallmark Hall of Fame), and The Secret Garden (any version).

    I know that it’s a television show, but there are at least three episodes of Touched by an Angel that talk about adoption and/or foster care. Another show that talks about adoption is Switched at Birth.

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It'll be a pleasure hearing your thoughts. Alisa