This past Thursday, we had the wonderful opportunity to celebrate Adoption Awareness Month in partnership with Adopt4Life with a special advanced screening of Annie! Graciously sponsored by Sony Canada and Cineplex, we were able to invite over 300 people to this event free of charge, with water donated by Benjamin Family! We had all sorts of people touched by adoption and the child welfare system settling into the theatre.
Personally, I sat down with anticipation and some skepticism, it’s not often that Hollywood ventures into the world of adoption and child welfare and comes out with an accurate narrative. Yet they managed to communicate some pretty amazing messages while keeping the movie light-hearted and enjoyable (I was definitely humming).
The truth is important.
Annie doesn’t have much to go by while she speculates on who her parents are and why she is no longer with them. Without any solid person in her life to guide her through the truth of her experience, and the unknowns, she is left to paint her own picture. This happens a lot with adoptees and foster kids who may not remember or know much about their family of origin.
Our identity has roots.
There are a few moments where Annie has to make it quite clear that she is not an orphan, she is in foster care. It’s obvious that her history and the people that are a part of that are important to her, even if she doesn’t know much about them. Often times, young people in these circumstances are not empowered to control the narrative of their experiences and find the people around them using certain words to describe them or their situation. It really brought to light how we as adults, are responsible and accountable to the voice of our children.
It’s really about connections.
(Minor Spoilers ahead). What I found myself most impressed with however was the connections that she forms with the people in her life – including Jamie Fox’s character Stacks. These connections were about being surrounded by people that truly cared about and were able to provide for her. Never was it about replacing the parents that she has lost in her past. Whether intentional or not, this intuitive message was something that definitely resonated with myself, and I am sure the adoption community at large.
In short, put this on your list to watch this Christmas.
Annie will officially come out on December 19th. Don’t miss out on catching a modern twist on a classic story this holiday season! Another big thank you to our sponsors Sony Canada and Cineplex for making this event possible, and to Benjamin Family for their donation of water!
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