Found Family: A Defining Documentary

A Reading Together 2016 Film

Found Family: A Defining Documentary

A film by Laura Barrett, produced by Karen Trout, Farrell Howe, and Kalamazoo Public Library for Reading Together 2016. Inspired by the 2016 Reading Together selection, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. “Found Family” is a Kalamazoo Public Library-produced documentary featuring local Kalamazoo, MI residents with particularly interesting family backgrounds who explore what family means to them.

The age-old definition of family was rattled when Charles Loring Brace started the Orphan Train movement in the mid-1800s, sending orphans across the country to find new families. The movement later evolved into the foster care and adoption system we know today. Now, families are defined by more than blood, money, race, and orientation, and their definitions will continue to evolve over the generations and across cultures. We found three families that extend past the typical American family narrative. Here are their stories.

“Family isn’t something that’s supposed to be static, or set. People marry in, divorce out. They’re born, they die. It’s always evolving, turning into something else.” ~Sarah Dessen

More than blood, race, and orientation, families are interdependent, found, made, all inclusive and ever-evolving. What defines yours?

Credits: Videographer/editor: Laura Barrett, interviewer: Zinta Astairs, producers: Karen Trout, Farrell Howe, Kalamazoo Public Library. Special thanks to Jerry and Barbara Barrett, Edward Eckel and Kristina Wirtz, Jaz and Renee Lee Gardner, and their beautiful families.

Recorded 03/21/2016

Categories: Information; Timely Topics

Tags: culture; education; film; kalamazoo; reading together

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