We suggest stopping what you're doing for the next three minutes to check out the trailer for Somewhere Between, a documentary making its Nashville premiere tonight as part of The Belcourt's "Doctober" series. It's a study of the cultural dislocation wrought by China's One Child Policy and the subsequent adoption of tens of thousands of Chinese girls in all 50 U.S. states over the decades since, as The Belcourt's site explains:
In profiling Chinese adoptees in contemporary America, Linda Goldstein Knowlton (THE WORLD ACCORDING TO SESAME STREET) has created a deeply moving documentary illustrating that even the most specific of experiences can be universally relatable. Of the roughly 80,000 girls who have been adopted from China since 1989—a decade after China implemented its One Child Policy—the film intimately follows four teenagers: Haley, Jenna, Ann, and Fang. These four wise-beyond-their-years, yet typical American teens, reveal a heartbreaking sense of self-awareness as they attempt to answer the uniquely human question, “Who am I?” They meet and bond with other adoptees, some journey back to China to reconnect with the culture, and some reach out to the orphaned girls left behind. In their own ways, all attempt to make sense of their complex identities. Issues of belonging, race, and gender are brought to life through these articulate subjects, who approach life with honesty and open hearts.
Speaking of "universally relatable," it's surprising to suddenly see Nashville locations in the trailer. Among the girls the documentary follows is local resident Haley Butler, 13 at the time of filming, who commands the camera as she describes life as a "banana" — "yellow on the outside, and white on the inside." Butler will be at The Belcourt this evening with director Knowlton, where they'll participate in discussions after the two screenings at 5 and 7:30 p.m.