When Marnie Was There – Review

Transfiguring Adoption’s Overview:

When Marnie Was There is rated PG, but the length and pace of the film may be best for an audience of ages eleven and up. It also appears this movie would be great for foster and adoptive families, though anyone could enjoy the beautiful storytelling, gorgeous artwork, and fantastic soundtrack. This movie might be relatable to foster and adoptive families due to the themes of identity as a foster/adoptive youth and a youth learning that “family” and “community” are more than biological bonds.

This movie can be a wonderful conversation starter for middle or high school-aged foster or adopted youth. The film does an excellent job of showing a youth wrestling with her identity as a foster child, within the foster family, and within the surrounding community. These years for children and teens in general are filled with identity building in general, but having the added cultural element which foster care youth from the child welfare system often experience adds levels of stress unique to this culture.


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Transfiguring Adoption is a nonprofit organization seeking to nurture growth in foster and adoptive families by giving a HOOT about their families. Transfiguring Adoption does not intend for its reviewers nor its review to be professional, medical or legal advice. These reviews and discussion guides are intended to help parents to better be able to connect and understand their children who come from traumatic backgrounds.

Written by
Rachael B. Rathe is an East Tennessee native with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology with a Minor in Child & Family Studies from The University of Tennessee Knoxville. She has worked in mental health since 2013 and in foster care/adoptions for a private provider agency since 2014. Rachael was inspired to work in the field after working with children and teens on a volunteer basis 2008 - 2013. Rachael's ideal self-care day involves snuggling on a couch with her kitties (Tabitha, Fergus, and Rufus) while enjoying a good movie or book. She also enjoys galavanting around conventions concerning all things nerd and geekery.

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