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directed by Mike Dudko, Olga Rudnieva
USA 2014


The very public story about the Ukrainian government's refusal to allow singer Elton John and his partner David Furnish to adopt an HIV-positive orphan had filmmaking couple Mike Dudko and Olga Rudnieva wondering if they were any more qualified to adopt a child. Following up on the story, they discovered that the child's parents were forced to reclaim him, appear on news stations disparaging John, and that the child was eventually left in the care of his aged grandmother when the mother overdosed on drugs and the father returned to prison. This lead the couple to ask why it is more difficult to adopt a child than to bear one. Looking at the adoption policies in different countries and the barriers that adoptive parents face in red tape and finances - including some agencies that blatantly state that children of different races rate different fees and are presumed to cost more or less to raise than others - as well as some of the tragic and heart-wrenching stories of children raised by unstable or uncaring biological parents or those raised without role models, the documentary asks the very touchy question of whether some people shouldn't be allowed to raise children (some horrifying testimony from social workers as well as the heart-breaking and chilling memoirs of Dave Pelzer - the titlular "Child Called 'It'" - tug at the heartstrings, but evidently still necessary given some of the attitudes about parents' seemingly inalienable rights as well as the inability or unwillingness of officials to intervene in situations that are apparently only judged dangerous in hindsight (perhaps for fear of setting precedents that could well get out of hand). It also asks if the ability to love and nurture is more important than the adoption agency's requirements of income brackets, the number of parents (married or not, heterosexual or not), age, and so on. It is easy to cynically detect a certain amount of self-involvement in the filmmakers turning the cameras on themselves in response to a story involving a celebrity, but KIDS RIGHTS nevertheless sheds troubling light on the disconnect between the goals and requirements of agencies interested in children's welfare and the children they have failed (at least partially by making if difficult for potential parents to adopt on sometimes dogmatic grounds).

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 10 May 2014 (USA)

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DVD Review: Cinema Libre - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Cinema Libre

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:34:09

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.57 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English LPCM 2.0 stereo
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Cinema Libre

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• 'Elton and David about becoming parents - part 1' (16:9; 1:33)
• 'Elton and David about becoming parents - part 2' (16:9; 1:40)
• 'Elton and David: Lev's influence on their lives' (16:9; 2:14)
• 'Bill Roedy (former MTV CEO)' (16:9; 2:25)
• Trailers for 'Small Voices', 'Lucky Express', and 'The Children's War'

DVD Release Date: May 20th, 2014

Chapters 8



With a chunk of the file size devoted to the uncompressed LPCM 2.0 stereo audio track, the image of KIDS RIGHTS on Cinema Libre's single-layer DVD is rather weak-looking, but prettiness isn't the documentary film's priority (although the talking head interviews are professionally shot). Extras are rather meager, but one of the snippets features a participant not in the finished documentary.

  - Eric Cotenas



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Region 0 - NTSC


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