By Devon Fox
Seattle, WA — “Calcutta is my Mother” is a raw, transformative documentary about one woman’s struggle with her feelings towards her abandonment, adoption, and identity. Reshma McClintock was born and abandoned in Calcutta, India and adopted and raised in Portland, Oregon—two completely different worlds.
Throughout the documentary, we follow along as she returns to Calcutta for the first time since her birth to connect with her roots and look for information about her birth. The answers she finds during her stay aren’t what you’d expect. Many adoptees struggle with identity crisis because they are left with many questions about their birth, and they feel a connection to a past they don’t know. Reshma is a perfect example of this. Not only is she adopted, but she’s biracial, and the only brown child in a white family. Like lots of adopted children, she’s wondered about her birth parents, but she’s also dreamed of a country and a home she never knew.
As a mixed-race American, I could relate because since my ancestors come from so many different countries, I’ve always felt connected to more than one place. I think many people can relate and will feel a connection with Reshma’s story.
On the other hand, I felt very conflicted watching Reshma’s journey through India. She obviously needs answers and as the viewer you want her to find them, however parading through India with cameras and a crew draws attention, and it’s hard not to notice the privilege she exudes. I was very happy to see this addressed in the film.
All in all, “Calcutta is my Mother” is a deep, eye-opening documentary that shows a glimpse of the stark contrast between growing up in India versus the USA. It draws attention to the harsh realities mothers in India face and the flawed adoption process that the children are left to deal with today.
If you’re looking for a thought-provoking movie that will leave you wanting to learn more, I highly recommend you go check out “Calcutta is my Mother” while they’re still on tour!