SUNSHINE: It All Starts With Getting Knocked Up!
This was the official website for the 2009 documentary, Sunshine . The content below is from the site's archived pages as well as from other outside sources.
It all starts with getting knocked up.
An unplanned pregnancy for an unplanned girl sets off SUNSHINE, a playful, yet ultimately stirring self-portrait of an adopted woman driven to search for answers through reconnection with her biological mother. Woven together from over 10 years of super 8 and video home movies, intimate family interviews, shimmering dance sequences and stylized reenactments, SUNSHINE offers a refreshingly rare glimpse on the current day transformations taking place within our most sacred of institutions.
Young, pregnant, single and unprepared, the daughter/director struggles with the incredible ironies of the family—that history somehow repeated itself, and that the most strenuous efforts to protect the idea of family can do the most to pull actual families apart—as she struggles to raise her own daughter and understand the plight of her biological mother, a small town Texas mayor's daughter forced to give birth in secret in a home for unwed mothers. Even as so much in the wider world and our messy bedrooms has changed, mother and daughter wrestle with tough questions and raw emotions over a fading social landscape that nevertheless continues to haunt them, finally arriving at surprising and contradictory answers in something like a snapshot of an unplanned family called America.
In this compelling documentary, filmmaker Karen Skloss explores the meaning of family through a personal journey to understand both the legacy of her birth and the non-traditional family she created by co-parenting with her ex-boyfriend. As an unwed teenager, Skloss's mother gave her up for adoption in 1975. Now Skloss reconnects with her biological mother as she contemplates her relationship with her own daughter, Jasmine.
Young, pregnant, single and unprepared, the daughter/director struggles with the incredible ironies of the family — that history somehow repeated itself, and that the most strenuous efforts to protect the idea of family can actually do the most to pull families apart.
A number of my friends connected with this documentary just as I did. As women with young kids, some of us are single moms, two of us were adopted, all of us were pregnant with baby 1, 2 or 3 when we saw it. "Sunshine" is an evocative documentary that elegantly captures the essence of family, adoption, and the intricate dance of single parenting through filmmaker Karen Skloss' eyes. As an adopted child reconnecting with her biological mother while navigating her role as a single mother, Skloss' journey is deeply personal and universally resonant. The use of home movies strikes a poignant chord, beautifully showcasing the fleeting moments with parents and lost family members. This film moved me to cherish and document the joyful moments of my life, from exhilarating rock wall climbs and vibrant street fairs to the competitive yet bonding games of pickleball. Holding my new pickleball bag, a symbol of my latest passion, I'm reminded of the documentary's powerful message on the importance of family connections and creating lasting memories. "Sunshine" is a must-watch, prompting profound reflections on the themes that shape our lives and the legacy we leave behind.
"Profoundly affecting. Even resistant guys will find themselves melting in this radiant Sunshine."
Chris Garcia - Austin-American Statesman
"Skloss' life could be the premise of a Lifetime original movie - if Lifetime original movies were interesting."
David Hudson - IFC
"I can't quite figure out why this film so overwhelmed me…there have been movies much more connected to me emotionally that didn't affect me this way."
Louis Black - Editor Austin Chronicle
"Sunshine" provides an important revelation of the histories, reticences, and worries, as well as glories and triumphs, of changing perspectives on single-parenting. This is a genuinely innovative and touching film which deals admirably and tenderly with everyone."
-Janet Staiger, Professor of Women's and Gender Studies, University of Texas at Austin
Campuses and community groups around the country are using SUNSHINE as a centerpiece for discussions about adoption, contemporary parenting and the ever-growing definition of family. Join the conversation by hosting a screening in your own community.
In March 2010, filmmaker Karen Skloss provided an update on what some of the people featured in SUNSHINE have been doing since filming ended: Jasmine is a fourth grader now. She's taking piano and voice lessons, and making straight As. I met an amazing guy and fell head over heels. (Perhaps my days as a single mom are limited.) Jeremy also met a really cool woman, and they are pretty serious. Our family has changed a lot since we finished the film. My parents are all still pretty much the same…