Hot Docs 2013: Mercy Mercy: A True Story of Adoption (2013)
The heart warming version of adoption goes like this: a child in need is accepted into the loving arms of a caring family and everyone lives happily ever after. But life isn’t a fairy tale, and as Mercy, Mercy: A True Story of Adoption demonstrates, international adoption is much more complicated that a fairy tale. Director Katrine Riis Kjaer spent four years following Masho and Roba as they are given up for adoption by their HIV positive Ethiopian parents and passed off to their unprepared (and perhaps cruel at times?) new Danish family.
No one is a winner in Mercy, Mercy: A True Story of Adoption – not the parents who are manipulated by unscrupulous adoption agency into relinquishing their children; not the well-meaning but unempathetic Danish parents, who ultimately give up Masho to a Danish state agency because she has “attachment disorder”; and definitely not the two blameless children at the heart of it. Hell, this doc made me so angry I even felt some ill will toward the director for not providing the birth parents with some answers as they desperately search for answers about their children’s well being. I will add, that this judgment is unfair all around – everyone was doing what they thought was best. It just wasn’t really best.
That said, as harsh and uncomfortable as Mercy, Mercy: A True Story of Adoption is to watch, it’s important. As more couples wait longer to have children and find themselves turning to international adoption as a solution, this film raises issues that anyone considering such an doption should be aware of.
Screening Times for Mercy Mercy: A True Story of Adoption
Sat, Apr 27 7:00 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
Sun, Apr 28 3:30 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox 4
Fri, May 3 9:30 PM
Gallery of Images from Mercy Mercy: A True Story of Adoption
Watch the trailer on Indie Wire.