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Daughter of a Lost Bird 2021


Distributed by Women Make Movies, 115 W. 29th Street, Suite 1200,New York, NY, 10001; 212-925-0606
Produced by Kendra Mylnechuk Potter
Directed by Brooke Pepion Swaney
Streaming, 66 mins

Middle School - General Adult
Adoption; Native Americans

Date Entered: 11/10/2021

Reviewed by Barb Kundanis, Longmont Public Library, Longmont, CO

The documentary Daughter of a Lost Bird tells the story of how Kendra, who was adopted, seeks out her family history in the Lummi Nation. She speaks of growing up "white" and the experience of being raised outside the culture. Here she connects to her birth mother (who is Native) as an adult starting her own family. Lost birds refer to children with no record of adoption. This affects many in the tribe. Names were also changed on birth certificates making it difficult to trace ancestry. It is healing to come back to the tribe and complex when you see how churches and the government encouraged assimilation with things like the Indian Adoption Project. This film offers an intimate look at how adoption affects Kendra and helps us understand the hardship of cultural genocide.

Best Female Director, Woodstock Film Festival 2021; Human Rights Watch Film Festival, NY 2021; Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival 2021; AFI Film Festival, 2021; Maoriland Film Festival 2021; Gimli Film Festival 2021; Ashland Independent Film Festival 2021; Vancouver Film Festival 2021; Heartland Film Festival 2021

Published and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Anyone can use these reviews, so long as they comply with the terms of the license.