‘Found’: An emotional film about adopted cousins reconnecting. Here’s how the filmmakers managed to shoot in China

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The new documentary “Found” follows Lily, Chloe and Sadie, who were adopted from China as infants, and learn they are cousins through DNA testing. Photo by Netflix.

The new Netflix documentary “Found” follows the unique friendship of teenagers Chloe, Lily and Sadie. 

They’re three of the more than 100,000 children adopted from China by Western families between 1990 and 2015. China’s one-child policy led thousands of families to abandon their baby girls, leaving the children to struggle with many questions about where they came from and why they were given up. 

Adopted as infants by three very different American families in separate parts of the country, Chloe, Lily and Sadie did not know a single biological relative when they were growing up. But as Asian kids in white families, they came to have many questions about the past. 

Thanks to DNA testing, they found each other when they were teens. As seen in the film, the three form a special bond despite having been brought up in very different circumstances and even with different religions. 

Together, they decide to return to China with their parents, in search of information about their biological families and the early days of their lives. With the help of a young Chinese genealogist, the girls explore key locations from their past, including the orphanages where they spent their first months. 

Amanda Lipitz is the director of “Found.” She’s also the filmmaker behind the 2017 documentary “Step.”  “Found” was produced by Anita Gou, who had previous experience in China on the 2019 movie “The Farewell.”

Gou’s uncle is Tawainese billionaire Terry Gou, the founder of the massive electronics manufacturer Foxconn. Her family also owns a majority stake in Taiwan's oldest film studio, the Central Motion Picture Corporation. 

Lipitz and Gou tell KCRW how they came to work together on “Found” and about the challenges of shooting a documentary in China.

Credits

Guests:

Host:

Kim Masters

Producer:

Kaitlin Parker