Pittsburgh Consortium for Adoption Studies at Pitt to Host Film Symposium Sept. 16-17

Issue Date: 
September 12, 2011

The Pittsburgh Consortium for Adoption Studies at the University of Pittsburgh will hold a film symposium titled “Adoption on Film: Families Lost and Found” Sept. 16 and 17 in Pitt’s Frick Fine Arts Auditorium.

The symposium opens with director Stephanie Wang-Breal introducing her film Wo Ai Ni Mommy (I Love You Mommy, 2010) at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 16. Wang-Breal’s film is a documentary about an 8-year-old girl taken from a foster home in China to live with her new parents on Long Island, N.Y. The film follows their first moments together through their first year and a half as a family.

A schedule and brief descriptions of the other films follow.

September 17

1 p.m.

Adopted: For the Life of Me (2010, Jean Strauss)

Documentarist Jean Strauss follows two older men in search of their first families. Shown on PBS stations in 2010, Adopted: For the Life of Me is especially timely given pending Pennsylvania legislation that addresses closed birth records.

3 p.m.

To Each His Own (1946, Mitchell Leisen)

Olivia de Havilland stars in an Academy-Award winning performance as Jody, a mother managing the complexities of life with and without her out-of-wedlock son, Griggsy, whom she shares with his adoptive mother and her friend, Corinne. To Each His Own is described as a sublime women’s film of the Studio Era revealing a sophisticated sense of a birth parent’s loss while demonstrating the sensibilities of the era and genre.

7:30 p.m.

Secrets and Lies (1996, Mike Leigh)

Leigh’s Secrets and Lies is described as a contrast to the usual dramatic representation of adoption and loss. Nominated for five Oscars, Secrets and Lies has won 29 other awards, including the Palme d’Or.

The film symposium is presented by Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences, Department of English, Film Studies Program, and Women’s Studies Program as well as the Pittsburgh Consortium for Adoption Studies and Three Rivers Families With Children From China.

The Pittsburgh Consortium for Adoption Studies is a group of scholars and writers in the Pittsburgh area who work to advance the understanding of adoption in both academic and nonacademic settings. Faculty members from the University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, Carlow University, and Carnegie Mellon University participate. Through a coordinated series of events, the consortium provides a prominent forum for students and faculty whose research, writing, and/or teaching deals with adoption, spreads information about adoption-related courses, and serves the public need for more understanding of this institution.

For more information, contact mnovy@pitt.edu or alp30@pitt.edu or visit www.pitt.edu/~asac/adoption_studies/Index.html.