Closure: a film about adoption

On Friday, July 18 the cultural diversity program of Bellevue held a screening of the film “CLOSURE.” It was hosted in the city council chambers by the diversity program’s Communication Coordinator, Kevin P. Henry. The screening was well attended and a significant number of people intimately involved in the film were present.
“CLOSURE” is a documentary about Angela Tucker’s search for her birth parents. It is unique in both its technical execution and its personal story. The film was produced by Bryan Tucker, Angela’s husband, and includes home video captured with a shaky camcorder, as well as professionally recorded interviews given after the conscious inception of the film. This is a symptom of the movie’s organic nature, what once was intended for personal documentation eventually shifted to become a public enterprise meant to teach and to encourage.
Born in Tennessee and diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia, Angela was adopted as an infant by a Washington based family. Her parents, Teresa and David had one natural born child, and adopted seven special needs children including Angela. Fortunately Angela grew to be able bodied but from a young age she and her parents were aware of her drive to discover her origins. That sense of absence and her innate curiosity would lead Angela to make the search and discovery which the film documents.
Records provided by the adoption agency told Angela only the first names of her birth parents. Combining this information with  the Internet and various other avenues of information gathering, she was able to track down her father, a “well-loved vagrant” in Tennessee, who goes by the name “Sandy the Flower Man.” This man’s fan page on Facebook was the first uncensored connection Angela made with her birth parents. She and her posse board a plane, and through a series of fortunate events encounter Sandy in person, who introduces them to his family and then connects them with Angela’s mother as well.
During the Q-and-A session after the film, Angela stated, “being on the big screen was never something I aspired to do.” She was working at an adoption agency during the events of the documentary and so was “really aware that there was a limited amount of unbiased information that features all the sides of the adoption triad. So we thought about how [the film] could really be impactful.” Bryan explained, “It was somewhere in the middle there that we started asking ‘should we start documenting this?’ Would it be something beneficial to the larger community?” Henry judged the film as such, his choice to hold a public screening indicates it meets his criteria of having “some significant cultural or diversity related theme” and that it is “educational in nature.”
Bellevue’s diversity program holds events such as this with some regularity. Henry stated he is “working on coordinating another film screening and discussion event in the future.” The film scheduled is “One Big Hapa Family” and is set to be shown “in September with the date to be announced soon.” This screening will feature a Q-and-A with director Jeff Chiba Stearns.” On September 20, 3:30 p.m. at the Bellevue Arts Museum there will be a presentation of “Within the Silence,” by Living Voices. This is a one actor presentation that focuses on the Japanese Internment during World War II, and will also end with a Q-and-A session.