‘Found’ Review: Three Adoptives Search for Chinese Roots

At an orphanage in China’s Guangdong Province, a nanny talks about the babies she’s cared for for years. “My heart ached every time I sent a baby… What would happen to them?” Amanda Lipitz’s poignant adoption documentary “Found” provides not one simple answer to this sad question, but three beautifully complex answers – cousins ​​Chloe, Sadie and Lily, who have traveled to China from Arizona, Tennessee and Oklahoma.

When we meet Chloe in that bat mitzvah, her parents are smiling. Prior to this meeting, Chloe (the filmmaker’s niece) had met Sadie through 23andMe, a consumer genetics testing company. Via the website, the two found Lily. Teenagers (with adequate parental support) embark on a journey to learn the truth about their origins and perhaps find their biological parents.

The documentary finds a sympathetic character in Liu Hao, a researcher, and hones her pedigree sleuthing skills on behalf of adopters. He lives in Beijing and explains that his job rarely leads to genetic matches. Searching is a delicate undertaking for white teens and their parents and potential birth parents. While young women have overlapping questions, “Found” makes it clear that they too have their own aspirations.

In one scene—so good for a mix of casual and deep teens—Liu shares with Sadie where he was before he was taken to the orphanage. “This is so cool,” Sadie replies, then thinks again. “Not cold but great.” If by awesome means amazing and wonderful, then the journey of self-discovery that Chloe and Lily shared on “Found” is truly amazing.

Rated PG. English and Mandarin, with subtitles. Duration: 1 hour 37 minutes. Watch on Netflix.

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