Approved for Adoption
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This remarkable animated doc traces the unconventional upbringing of the filmmaker Jung Henin, one of thousands of Korean children adopted by Western families after the end of the Korean War. It is the story of a boy stranded between two cultures. Sepia-toned animated vignettes - some humorous and some poetic - track Jung from the day he first meets his new blond siblings, through elementary school, and into his teenage years, when his emerging sense of identity begins to create fissures at home and ignite the latent biases of his adoptive parents. The filmmaker tells his story using his own… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This 2012 feature is melancholy for a movie about childhood (probably too much so to appeal to children), but the intimate storytelling is appealing all the same."
‑ Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader
"The movie is not always well unified and sequenced, but that seems to reflect Mr. Henin's ambivalence over a past that's like a book he is at once rereading and rewriting."
‑ Nicolas Rapold, New York Times
"The anecdotes Jung shares ache with honesty, effectively relating how he eventually reconciled his lack of a past with the promising future his new family offered him."
‑ Jamie S. Rich, Oregonian
""Approved for Adoption" is tough and tender, a rich resource for anyone who has been adopted, and anyone who plans to adopt."
‑ Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"Watching the animated memoir Approved for Adoption can stir a serenity like skipping stones on water for a delightfully long time."
‑ Daphne Howland, Village Voice
"Using a motley mix of often charming animation and live action which includes actual home footage of Jung as a child, as well as the present time...Approved for Adoption strives for a narrative and emotional complexity it sometimes achieves."
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
"The archival clips are eye-opening, and the animation, with its lovely subdued palette, is alive with the pains, joys and rascal spirit of childhood."
‑ Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times
"It's impossible not to be charmed on some level by Jung Henin and Laurent Boileau's Approved for Adoption, though it's best not to ask for too much."
‑ Jay Weissberg, Variety
"The hand-drawn animation here emphasizes the directness of the hand forming the image on paper, and the film becomes the ultimate expression of what started as the mere scribblings of little boy trying to find his place in the world."
‑ Robert Koehler, Film Comment Magazine
More reviews for Approved for Adoption on Rotten Tomatoes