Finding Christa

Gayle Kirschenbaum is making a film about her highly-charged relationship over the years with her mother called Look At Us Now, Mother! Camille Billops made a documentary called Finding Christa (1991) about her relationship with her daughter Christa. The difference is that Christa was adopted when she was four and Gayle was not adopted.

Giving Christa up for adoption was probably Camille’s hardest decision to make, but when her lover refused to marry her, Camille felt compelled to give up her daughter. Christa was adopted by professional singer Margaret Liebig who becomes a very loving parent.

This movie could have easily been called Finding Mom because Christa thought very much about finding her natural mother. Her adoptive mother Margaret encouraged her to search for her birth mother. Through the help of ALMA, in 1980, 20 years after being adopted, Christa found her mother in New York City.

Finding Christa has a running time of 55 minutes and contains a combination of home movies, dramatic sequences, and interviews with family members. The movie is written, directed, and produced by Camille Billops and her husband, James Hatch, a professor of theater at City University of New York.

In addition to Camille and Christa, the cast includes Christa’s adoptive mother; Christa’s adoptive siblings; and Camille’s aunts, uncles, and cousins.

References

Canby, Vincent. “Reviews/Film Festival; Documentary of Mother-Daughter Reconciliation.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 24 Mar. 1992. Web. 08 May 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/1992/03/24/movies/reviews-film-festival-documentary-of-mother-daughter-reconciliation.html>.

“Finding Christa.” Sundance Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 May 2013. <http://history.sundance.org/films/484/finding_christa>.

“Finding Christa.” Third World Newsreel. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 May 2013. <http://www.twn.org/catalog/pages/cpage.aspx?rec=756>.

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