It’s impossible not to be charmed on some level by Jung Henin and Laurent Boileau’s “Approved for Adoption,” though it’s best not to ask for too much. An autobiographical tale based on Henin’s graphic novel (the co-helmer usually goes just by “Jung”), the docu traces his path from Korean orphan to Belgian adoptee via a satisfying mix of animation and live-action. While his Belgian family’s motivations largely remain unclear, this voyage of discovery will provide throat lumps galore. Rainbow World recently bought North American rights, and is planning a theatrical run.
Henin was adopted in 1971 by a Belgian family with four kids of its own (more than 200,000 Korean tots have been adopted abroad since the 1950s). He was a classic problem child, mischievous and in search of an identity, exacerbated by the sense his adoptive mother didn’t treat him fully as one of her own. As an adult, Henin returns to Korea to investigate his background and come to grips with the feeling of not belonging. More info is needed (do his Belgian parents work?), yet the animation is pleasing, combining 3D figures and 2D backgrounds.