When Haley Butler was 13, she was chosen as one of four girls to be featured in Somewhere Between, a documentary about international adoption. In addition to exploring the issues surrounding international adoption through the eyes of young adoptees, the film captures the Butlers during one of their trips to China during which Haley finds her birth parents. Read the synopsis below:
Four baby girls are born in China to families who are unable to keep them, largely because of China’s “One Child Policy.” Instead of being raised by their biological parents, the baby girls are raised in orphanages, and then eventually adopted by American families to be whisked halfway around the world to the United States. There, they grow up with Sesame Street, hip-hop, and Twitter. They describe themselves as “bananas”: white on the inside and yellow on the outside. All is well, until they hit their teen years, when their pasts pull at them, and they begin to wonder, “Who am I?”
Documentaries have been made before about international adoption, but they have always been from the point of view of the adoptive, Caucasian parents, or the adult adoptee. SOMEWHERE BETWEEN lets four teenaged girls—Fang, Haley, Ann, and Jenna—tell their own stories, letting the film unfold from their points of view and shedding light on their deepest thoughts: about their families, their feelings of being “other,” and their powerful connections to a past that most of them cannot recall.
The film captures nearly three years in the lives of these four dynamic young women. The emotional journey took the film crew across America where they documented the girls in their hometowns, facing racism and struggling with stereotypes. Their journeys were also documented as they traveled to Europe to meet other transracial adoptees and back to China, where they witnessed China’s gender gap resulting from its One Child Policy.
As SOMEWHERE BETWEEN plunges the viewer into the ordinary and extraordinary days of these four girls lives, we, too, are forced to pause and consider who we are—both as individuals and as a nation of immigrants.
From the Director:
My daughter's name is Ruby Goldstein Knowlton. She’s seven. When my husband and I adopted her from China, we had no idea what lay ahead. We became a family in an instant. But as I began to think about Ruby's future, I started to wonder how her coming of age would differ from mine. I began talking to older girls who had been adopted from China and brought to the U.S., and plunged into a world not just of identity but of what it means to be who we are. This film, SOMEWHERE BETWEEN, was born.
Caring for China's Orphans would like to acknowledge Bellevue Church of Christ for their generous support of our work, including the use of facilities for office and event space allowing us to serve even more orphans living in China's orphanages. Thank you!