Closure is a captivating and quick-paced documentary about a young woman (the sparkling Angela Tucker AKA @angeieadoptee) who seeks and finds members of her birthfamily.
>> Filmmaker Bryan Tucker is looking donations via KickStarter to help get Closure onto Netflix, Hulu and iTunes. (You can donate as little as $1 to help them.) <<
Like Somewhere Between, the documentary stands on its own as a thrilling and difficult journey full of revelations and discoveries, heartbreak, sadness and joy. For adoptees, birthmothers and adoptive families, of course, it has a deeper resonance.
It’s almost a ritual now for my husband and me to watch an adoption movie, cry immediately and then settle into the film, which is what we did for this one.
Right off the bat, as an adoptive mother, I was bowled over by Angela’s parents, who had one biological child in the 70s afterwhich the father promptly got a vasectomy and they adopted seven more children, all with some form of special needs.
The parents embody a kind of big love and down-to-earth attitude that rubbed off on their children. Interestingly, despite having so many kids, the mother still had a hard time figuring out (at the beginning) why Angela wanted to find her birthfamily (wasn’t she enough?). She quickly gets totally onboard; however; and the meat of the film kicks off.
I don’t want to give too much away because the surprises and details are too wonderful to reveal but Angela does meet various members of her family and once again, I learned a few things about adoption:
1) Birthfathers matter: This doesn’t mean they necessarily make great parents but as a frequently missing part of the equation, their contribution to DNA and temperament can be significant. In the case of Angela, it’s clear that her biological father was a major contributor to her light-up-a-room personality as well as her physical appearance. Not that birthfathers are just about DNA but some of the similarities were striking.
2) An adoptee’s search for roots has nothing to do with the love they feel for their adoptive family. Loving your adoptive parents does not negate the need for answers, connections and love from your biological family. Those two seemingly disparate states can coexist.
3) Closed adoption leaves a trail of broken hearts. This isn’t news really but it was poignantly illustrated in the doc. The big downside of Angela’s adoption was secrecy, which had serious repercussions on the birthmother in particular, who never even held her daughter and suffered severe lifelong depression. Obviously, for Angela, it meant a lifetime of wondering where she came from. It also resulted in lost culture, and lost relationships with birthaunties and uncles, and half-siblings. Loss even affected her first foster mother who never knew what happened to her after she was taken from their care to be adopted.
4) Sometimes adoption is the right choice. In the film, many family members talked about how they might have raised Angela including a foster mother but they all agreed in their own way and time that she had thrived in her adoptive family and that it was the right choice. By thrived, I mean this was a child that doctors said would never walk who turned out to be a phenomenal basketball player an effortless piano player and went on to get a social work degree.
5) Even when biological families are broken, reunion is still worthwhile. Angela’s birthfamily had some problems but they are warm, heart-on-the-sleeve people who were surprised, moved and thrilled to meet her. For Angela, none of that mattered: they were family.
Angela’s husband Bryan Tucker, who made the film, pieced together a complicated story so that it moves quickly but slows down where needed to tell a truly moving and important story.
Donate any amount (over $1) to their Kickstarter campaign so they can get this wonderful doc screened and shown!