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Documentary - Relativity CBC Newsworld April 29 2008

Relativity CBC Newsworld April 29 2008

Relativity is a documentary about an adopted woman's search for who she is. Brenda Kovrig grew up in a great adoptive family with her adopted sister but then set out to meet her birth mother. That meeting raised a lot of questions about identity, family history, genes, and if who you are depends on biological or real parents: nature or nurture.

This is a pretty interesting film by a film maker who knows how to shoot and frame her story.

It is impossible not to empathize with Kovrig and her questions yet at the same time one wonders if she is not asking herself all these questions not because they are her questions but because she believes she is supposed to be asking them.

One of the first experts Kovrig meets on her quest for answers is a California psychologist (uh, oh) who seems to have a pseudo-intelligent but simply guesswork pat answer for everything.

Fortunately, the documentary film maker also talks to some pretty intelligent people such as British geneticist Steve Jones who nails the nature / nurture debate in a single minute.

One of the questions she has is she has always questioned if life is not a series of random accidents and now thinks this is because she was an accident. The latter is just a coat hook for the former, really. The philosopher she interviews pretty much answers that one.

There are a couple of quirky moments like when Kovrig believes she recognized relatives in a crowd but they end up being strangers.

Relativity has a weakness. Kovrig is a bit superficial. For example, she learns her biological parents are Mennonites the modern version so then believes she should feel connected to the old style Mennonites.

The documentarist asks too many questions and too many minor questions and does not answer many of them.

This documentary is a little unsatisfying and too loose for its own good but it is interesting.

The fake scene at the end is just stupid.

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