Monday, April 28, 2014

Approved For Adoption - Arrives on DVD April 29 from Cinedigm (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.


An award-winning animated look at adoption and identity from comic-book artist Jung.

“It's impossible not to be charmed!” –Variety
“Superb! Deeply moving.” --Wall Street Journal
“Rich in emotion, humor, and poetry.” – Premiere

"Comic-book artist Jung returns to Seoul for the first time since he was abandoned at the age of 5 in this mixed-media memoir that combines animation with new documentary and Super-8 archival footage. Rated 100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and met with rave reviews from top press, APPROVED FOR ADOPTION was a festival darling, winning the Audience Award at Annecy in 2012.


This remarkable animated doc traces the unconventional upbringing of the filmmaker Jung Henin, one of thousands of Korean children adopted by Western families after the end of the Korean War. It is the story of a boy stranded between two cultures. The filmmaker tells his story using his own animation intercut with snippets of Super-8 family footage and archival film. The result is an animated memoir like no other: clear-eyed and unflinching, humorous and wry, and above all, inspiring in the capacity of the human heart."

My Thoughts:

Even if you don't have a personal connection to adoption, you will moved when you watch this animated documentary, which has been adapted from the graphic "novel" by Korean-Jung Henin.

What first drew me to this movie was how the story was played out, in a series of animated vignettes.  When you think of a memoir or autobiographical documentary-type movie, you would not expect to watch an animated version.  But, somehow, through the co-direction of Laurent Boileau, along with "Jung," it works here.  

Throughout the animated sequences, we are presented with snippets of Jung's personal family videos which play as live-action footage.  At times it feels like these scenes are just thrown in to remind us that this is a true story, but I am not sure the animated version really needed them.  In my eyes, they would have been better combined and added to the bonus feature section.

This movie will have see what it would be like if were adopted and raised in a culture unlike your own heritage.  Jung was transplanted from Korea into Belgium, and into a family with blonde haired siblings.  He stuck out light a sore thumb and thus acted out, not only in rebellion, but as a way to cope with his emotions of adoption, abandonment, detachment, etc.

I couldn't look away while watching this movie, and found myself wanting to pick up the graphic novel afterwards to see how the two compared.  Even though this is a documentary in animation about adoption, it is much more than that, and is highly moving, and one that you will not mind watching time and again.

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

1 comment :

  1. I would really like to see this when it comes out. I love stories like this one but I know I will probably cry through the whole thing.
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