Monday, August 19, 2013

Adoption Movie Guide: Pacific Rim

Gigantic monsters called Kaijus have emerged from a trans-universal rift in the ocean, intent on exterminating human life and colonizing the earth. They are initially overpowering, but the governments of the world join together and craft “Jaegers,” skyscraper-tall weaponized robots, which are able to stand up to the Kaijus. But then bigger Kaijus come, and governments cut funding to the Jaeger program. Can humankind defeat the invaders using outdated technology?

How is This Relevant to Adoption? 
The Jaeger machines are too complex to be piloted by a single person. Two co-pilots are joined together through a neural handshake, melding their minds together so that they think as a single unit. We learn that, “the deeper the bond, the better [you function.]” One unit is piloted by two brothers – one of the brothers dies and the other later reflects, “I was still connected to him” when I lost him. He also adds that he “can’t have anyone else in my head” because of this. It’s a pretty reasonable portrayal of a traumatic loss resulting in difficulties making new relationships.

Also, one character was more-or-less adopted by another character, years earlier. The adoptive-esque parent is very protective, and struggles to let his child – now an adult – serve in the war. Another character chastises him, “You rescued her. You raised her. Now you are not protecting her; you are holding her back.”

Strong Points
There is love and respect between the adoptive parent and his child. The character who is unable to make emotional connections eventually regains that ability.

One scene is particularly disturbing. One of the attacking monsters is pregnant. After she dies, the developing baby monster comes out of her corpse, ready to fight, but it ultimately is strangled by its own umbilical cord.

Recommendations and Conclusions

Pacific Rim will probably appeal mostly to teenagers and young adults. One character could be particularly powerful for young adults who have experienced significant losses and who, because of their losses, find it difficult to trust others. If you see it with your older teen, there might be a conversation point there.  Adoptive parents could reflect on the challenges inherent in letting a child who needed you, grow up and go out into the world again. Aside from that, it seems like a pretty standard big-budget action/sci-fi movie.


How will I let my adopted child transition into adulthood? In what ways does adoption make this different from the task of any parent to let their child grow up? In what ways is it similar?

How did the character find the ability to trust another person?

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