There is no shortage of films to enjoy in Toronto, it's a cultural advantage to living in a big city. Aside from the blockbusters splashed across every major theatre, there are some very interesting films that are also well attended. Housed in the Bloor West Annex area, the Bloor Cinema showcases HOT DOCS - some of the most thought provoking, inspiring and sometimes controversial documentary films from around the world.
Last night we were invited to the North American Premiere of the Canadian documentary
ADOPTED ID by filmmaker Sonia Godding Togobos. The story follows Judith Craig, a Haitian born woman (as an infant, was adopted by a white Canadian family) as she returned to her homeland in search of her biological family.
The story follows how inter-racial adoption has impacted this one family and what it was like being raised in this environment. Her adopted mother realized that her daughter needed to keep her heritage and culture...she even learned how to work in corn rolls into her daughter's hair as a young girl.
With support from her parents and siblings, Judith takes us on her very personal journey to find out the piece of life that she so desired to understand. Was she just tossed away by her biological mother to be left to die? Or was her mother hoping that she would find a better life by chance that someone would find her?
Judith's only documentation was a hospital birth form that confirmed that she was picked up as an abandoned baby and brought to a hospital in Cap-Haitien. She took her story to the media airways in Haiti and immediately receive calls from families hoping to be reunited with their lost child. When watching this, one can't help but to think the poverty stricken families who had approached her was after her for a better future for themselves. However, in the Q&A after the movie screening Judith addressed this by mentioning that not one family ever requested anything from her financial or otherwise. She felt like everyone was truly genuine in their desire to help her find her family. But was the outcome what she had hoped for?
After the devastating earthquake on Haiti in 2010, the world witnessed the great need for international adoptions. This was motivation for Judith who is a mother and a Social Worker in London, England to become more involved with transnational and trans-racial adoption. Her personal experience inspired her to assist with similar adoption families by not only trying to reunite biological parents but also to help families to understand the sometimes deeply rooted wants of an adopted child to understand one's heritage and culture, particularly with Haitians.
Sonia Godding Togobo has worked in broadcast television with credits in Canada, England and has shot films in both Haiti and Ghana. After graduating from Humber's Film & Television program in 2011, Sonia went on to work with numerous post-rpduction companies before settling at Nelvana, North America's largest animation distributor. Later worked her way on up to associate editor on CBC's A Deathly Silence and WTSN Profile Series before moving to Canada's pioneering music channel - MuchMusic in 2003. She has also worked on programs for BBC, Channel four and ITV in London.
For more information please visit, www.AdoptedID.com
For more information about HOT DOCS please visit www.HotDocs.ca
Here is the Adopted ID Poetic Trailer