Apart, Together (2021) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)

Apart, Together is a touching story focused on a woman looking for the daughter she was forced to give up.

Yiru (Shavvon Lin) in a promotional poster

Apart, Together is a touching story focused on a woman looking for the daughter she was forced to give up.

Director(s) Olivia Hang Zhou
Screenplay By Olivia Hang Zhou, Jess Kohs
Date Released 9/30/2021
Where Can You Watch? Film Festival (Urban World)
Genre(s) Drama, Young Adult, Non-English
Duration 19 Minutes
Rating Not Rated

Film Summary

A woman and her youngest daughter, Yiru, come to Los Angeles in hopes of finding Mei, Yiru’s older sister. However, the longer they spend in Los Angeles looking for Mei, the more desperate the mother seems, and the more secondary Yiru feels.

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

  • Reason(s) for Film Rating: This is a tame film with nothing notable to worry about

Cast & Character Guide

Please Note: This is not an exhaustive list of every cast member.

Jia (Leann Lei)

Forced to abandon her daughter due to China’s One-Child Policy at the time, decades later, Mei’s (now known as Stephanie) mother is looking for her child and to hopefully make amends.

Yiru (Shavvon Lin)

Mei’s would-be little sister grew up with her mother in China and is hoping to find some time to look at colleges while they are in the United States.

Stephanie (Michele Panu)

A young woman adopted by a church family, by means not explicitly revealed.

Review/ Commentary

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A Different Story

Often, when you get stories like this, the focus is on the child who feels disconnected and is in search of their parents. It isn’t too often the situation is spun around, never mind, a second child is involved who is less excited and more worried about what it means if their parent finds their firstborn.

Through watching both trying to process the possibility of finding Mei and how that could change things, you get a film that seeks to trigger new ways of looking at international adoption.


Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)Recommended

Apart, Together is recommended because it presents a story not done to death. It explores the other side to the international adoption, from the possibility of Mei being stolen and sold to all the feelings which go into reuniting with your child and meeting a sister you never met. All the while, not addressing the meeting, regarding Yiru, as this wonderful and exciting thing, but with a healthy dose of fear and anxiety. Especially considering the person who abandoned your sister in some random place is raising you and having you in a foreign country.

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Yiru (Shavvon Lin) in a promotional poster
Apart, Together (2021) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)
A Different Story

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