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


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.

Movie Directory

An old school film reel drawn by artist Dean Nelson.

On The Radar


  • Recommended: Some of the best-seen movies we have ever watched and mentioned to friends, family, and strangers as films that need to be seen.
  • Positive (Worth Seeing): Whether you’ll have to go to the movies, download, or stream, movies of this category are worth your time and money with few, if any, qualms from us.
  • Mixed (Divisive): Due to this movie having a few quirks, of which may work for some and for others be a problem, we believe your enjoyment of this movie will depend on your taste.
  • Negative (Acquired Taste): While one or two elements kept us going until the end, unfortunately, we’re of the opinion this film never reached the potential it was marketed to have.

Special Categories/ Tags

  • Indie: By our definition, independent films are films you have to seek to find due to limited availability or lack of a marketing push.
  • Film Festival: Featured in this tag are films and shorts which were discovered thanks to various film festivals, so some of the productions may not have wide availability but still may deserve to be on your watch.
  • Shorts: Be it ten or fifteen minutes, or a half-hour, these quick teases or films get right to the point, often show the potential of filmmakers and the actors who have joined them in their journey.
  • Ending Spoilers: Trying to remember how a film ended, or want a different take on the ending, then check out the "ending spoilers" category. 
Yiru (Shavvon Lin) in a promotional poster
Apart, Together (2021) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)
A Different Story

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Avatar of Amari

I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and have aimed to be that friend who loves watching various forms of media and talking about it. So, from bias, strong opinions, and a perspective you may not have thought about, you'll find that in our reviews.

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