A Girl Like Her
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Ann Fesslers work has focused on the stories of women and the impact that stereotypes and mass media images have on their lives and intimate relationships. In 2002, Fessler began interviewing women who lost babies to adoption during the 28 years that followed WWII, when a perfect storm of circumstances led to an unprecedented 1.5 million surrenders.
Fessler has produced three films, numerous audio and video installations, and written a non-fiction book on adoption. Her two earlier short films Cliff & Hazel (1999), about her adoptive parents, and Along the Pale Blue River (2001), about the search for her mother, have won awards at festivals and been screened internationally.
In 1989 I was approached by a woman who thought I might be the daughter she had surrendered for adoption forty years earlier. Though the woman was not my mother, I am an adoptee and the conversation that ensued changed the focus of my work. After finishing two short autobiographical films, I began interviewing women who lost babies to adoption in the 1950s and 60s, and researching footage that both reflected and shaped the publics understanding of adoption of the time in order to shed light on this hidden history and give voice to women who were shamed into secrecy and rendered invisible and voiceless.