Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Reviewed today: a movie trailer, and adoption.

Below, I have embedded the trailer for Orphan.

See. Told you I embedded it. Now I'm going to talk about it. Typically that's what I mean when i say "review." I'm really just going to hold forth, basically, on a given topic. I shall bloviate, if you will. Today, I shall bloviate about this trailer, adoption, and various other things, a few of which are a little depressing.

Trailer first: Did you see that? The trailer is kind of pretty and eerie and scary, and I like at least one of the actors, and the little kids are adorable, except when they're being assholes or devil-children. But it bothers me to see them literally demonizing a little kid. A vulnerable one, at that. I, myself, am adopted. I think adoption is awesome and necessary. I was lucky enough to get adopted by a great family when i was an infant, but for various reasons this doesn't happen for all kids. Kids who are in state-run or religious organization-run homes, or who are in foster care need to be adopted too. Badly.

There's already a lot of fear out there, surrounding adopting older children. Some of the fear and nervousness is legitimate. If you're taking on the responsibility of an older child (almost certainly one with a tumultuous past) without a little nervousness and self-reflection, then you're an idiot. I would hope, though, that the fear would be of the "do I have the resources, emotionally and otherwise, to give this child a good crack at a healthy life?" variety. Not the "will this child turn out to be a possessed demon who kills my biological kids and burns shit down?" variety.

I'm sure in the actual movie it will turn out that this particular child is the product of satan, or some freak medical experiments, or whatever, and thus shouldn't be considered a representation of ALL kids in foster care. But I probly won't see the movie. Most people won't. But I bet a hefty chunk of Americans see the trailer. And all you see in the trailer is a precocious, artistic, slightly awkward, introverted little girl turn out to be a total monster. I was a little girl of the books-for-friends variety, myself, and I was one determined couple away from ending up in the foster system (as is true of many adopted infants). For one thing, I object to the idea that the smart, quirky girl turns out to be a homicidal maniac. It's also frustrating to see a major motion picture capitalize on the fear of an already vulnerable group of people -- Although obviously this is ridiculously common; see Smalls' post, below, regarding Bruno.

I probably would have had a negative gut reaction to this trailer anyway, as an adoptee and a former quirky girl, but these stories from my adopted hometown of DC really bring the point home. Foster kids need permanent homes, and the agencies that try to place them need so many options that they get to be choosy, and they need to watch out for this kids a whole hell of a lot better.

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