RO, CA, DE

2023

90 min

In development

Lost and Found

Directing: Laurentiu Garofeanu

Synopsis

Jessi, a young Canadian woman, travels to the country of her birth, Romania, to find out the truth about her adoption when she was just two months old. After finding out that her biological mother had sold her and, on top of that, that she had a sister, two years younger than her who was also given up for adoption, Jessi begins a personal investigation aimed at finding the lost sister and investigating how the international adoptions took place in Romania in the 1990s.

Jessi decides to go to Romania and meet her birth family. The meeting between mother and daughter is full of emotion. Jessi spends a few days in her mother's impoverished village and learns more about the poverty and inequality faced by the Roma minority in Romania, both now and 25 years ago, when Jessi was adopted.

One day while in Romania, Jessi is surprisingly contacted by her father. Jessi learns from him that her mother Afize had another daughter who was also given up for adoption, but in her case, all the details of the adoption are lost. Afize had lied to Jessi for two years, telling her that she was her only daughter. Now, Jessi wants to know if her sister is still alive and where she is.

Driven by concern and fear for her unknown sister, Jessi begins a journalistic investigation by searching in the past, through the archives and photographs to which she has access in Bucharest and on the Internet. Her parents, Judy and Peter, now nearly 85 years old tell her how it happened from their perspective as Westerners, arriving in a poor country where they were put in the position of either saving a child by buying him or letting him starve to death.
Jessi plans to meet the founder of the NGO Against Child Trafficking, Lawyers, Politicians – not only experts but also people who might have been involved into the shady Romanian adoption business, to find her sister alive hoping that she wasn’t sold for her organs or prostitution.

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