In profiling Chinese adoptees in contemporary America, Linda Goldstein Knowlton's documentary illustrates that even the most specific of experiences can be universally relatable. Of the roughly 80,000 girls who have been adopted from China since 1989 - a decade after China implemented its One Child Policy - the film intimately follows four teenagers: Haley, Jenna, Ann, and Fang. These four wise-beyond-their-years, yet typical American teens, reveal a heartbreaking sense of self-awareness as they attempt to answer the uniquely human question, "Who am I?" They meet and bond with other adoptees, some journey back to China to reconnect with the culture, and some reach out to the orphaned girls left behind. In their own ways, all attempt to make sense of their complex identities. Issues of belonging, race, and gender are brought to life through these articulate subjects, who approach life with honesty and open hearts.
Resident Evil: Retribution will post a solid opening weekend to top this weekend's box office, according to studio estimates released on Sunday morning. With $21.1 million projected by Sony, it will be the fourth consecutive film in the franchise to open between $20 million and $27 million -- an impressive level of consistency. In second place, Finding Nemo 3D is expected to post about $17.5 million, which is a significant disappointment compared to the $30 million debut enjoyed by The Lion King this weekend last year. But the real plaudits this weekend will go to a film playing in just five theaters.
Sleepwalk With Me found its way on top of the per theater chart with $68,801 in one theater. This is higher than the per theater average for the opening of The Avengers, which was the goal of the filmmakers after their fake fight with Joss Whedon. Samsara opened with an average of $38,111 in two theaters. The only other film in the $10,000 club was Space Station with $14,268 in one theater.
Like I said last weekend, it is an awkward time to debut a film in limited release. It is too late for summer holidays, but too early for Awards Season. There are not nearly as many releases this week as there were last week, but at least there are a few earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. The one with the best chance of success is Sleepwalk With Me, but Samsara and Somewhere Between could be art house hits.
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