A Girl Like Her: film screening and discussion

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Documentary Film and Discussion hosted by Adoption Network Cleveland. 

 

Ann Fessler’s documentary, A Girl Like Her, reveals the hidden history of over a million and a half women who became pregnant in the US in the 1950s and 60s when “nice girls” didn’t get pregnant. It was a time when women were routinely expelled from high schools and colleges and forced to leave jobs as teachers and nurses before their indiscretion was visible to others. They were rendered voiceless and invisible—banished to maternity homes or homes of relatives where they could give birth, surrender their babies for adoption, and start over with a clean slate. But did they?

 

The footage, culled from films that both reflected and shaped society’s understanding of single motherhood and adoption at the time, include sex education films that attempted to regulate women’s sexual behavior as well as scripted newsreels that assured potential adoptive parents that all babies available for adoption were healthy, intelligent, and unwanted by their mothers. In Fessler’s film, these women finally have an opportunity to tell their own stories. As the footage illuminates the past, the voices of more than fifty women weave together to recount their experiences of dating, pregnancy, family reaction, banishment, and the long-term impact of surrender and silence on their lives. (description from www.annfessler.com)

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