Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Adoption as Never Seen Before

A documentary film directed by Gudrun Widlok entitled “Adopted” was screened at the Goethe Institute on Thursday June 14th 2012. The film is based on a project of trans-racial connections spearheaded by Adopted, an agency which finds godparents in Africa for European adults who are detached from their families.

Adopted, an initiative of the collaboration of African documentary makers and Goethe-Institute, tells the story of three select Germans who are adopted by extended families in Ghana. The film follows the three Germans while they unite with their adoptive families and experience the process of getting to know a country and culture that is very different from their own.

The film shows the difference of opinion between the two races on what a “good life” is. Thelma, who is one of the three adoptee’s the film follows, finds it hard to adjust to having so much free time on her hands and very little privacy. She seems confused by the day to day life of her Ghanaian family, which sat around, talked, ate and just relaxed most of the time. In addition, she also finds out that she and her adopted family have very different views on many things such as religion.

Thelma’s frustration is also shared by the other two Germans as well, in terms of facing the psychological and emotional difficulties involved in cultural emersion. In the end, two of the adoptees decide to go back to Germany while one of them decides to stay and make his home in Ghana. The film has ant comic edge as well as moments filled with so much emotion.

Initially thought up as artistic fiction, the project turned into reality due to high demand: To this day, more than 150 Europeans have been brought together with families in Ghana.