Explores the complexity of gay, trans-racial adoption
The Commitment, a film by Boston-based director and actor Albert M. Chan, will have its East Coast Premiere on Sunday, October 28, at 3 p.m. at the Paramount Center, 559 Washington Street in Boston, as part of the Boston Asian American Film Festival (BAAFF). Chan and the majority of the cast and crew are scheduled to be in attendance.
The Commitment is the story of Robert (Chan) and Ethan (Jason Lane Fenton), an interracial gay couple who have been chosen by a pregnant Asian woman (Kerri Patterson) to adopt her baby. They meet in the office of an adoption social worker (Mary Niederkorn), they make a connection, and then things take an odd turn.
Chan was inspired to make this film after he and his husband of seven years decided to expand their family through adoption. "At the time, we were warned by adoption professionals to be prepared for the roller coaster ride of our lives," Chan recalls amusedly. "Well, over a year later after numerous ups and downs, I finally understood what they were talking about."
While The Commitment, is indeed about adoption and gay parenting and features Asian characters, Chan emphasizes that it is really a universal love story about two people committed to each other and having the strength of that bond tested under very trying circumstances. "The fact that our film has also been accepted to mainstream festivals attests to its universality," say Chan. The film also screens next month at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival and the Columbus International Film + Video Festival.
Critics have been praising The Commitment, for its realism, strong acting performances, and emotional complexity. Richard Propes of The Independent Critic writes, "emotional resonance, joy and heartbreak…indeed, this is a film that would be difficult to pull off if not for its tremendously talented cast." Mark Bell of Film Threat calls The Commitment, "a fine dramatic film with some soft, almost deadpan comedic moments." Meanwhile, Brian Morton of Rogue Cinema writes, "While any description of this movie will sound trite and simple, there's nothing simple about this film. Filled with a depth of emotion, The Commitment, is really a tale of love and what you’ll go through for it."
In real life, Chan's adopted son recently turned one. "Having a baby hasn't slowed me down," Chan laughs. Indeed, he is currently developing Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future, a narrative film based on the immigration experiences of his mother and grandfather half a century ago, which has already won a Puffin Foundation Grant and been named a finalist for the Roy W. Dean Film Grant. For more information about the film, visit http://thecommitmentmovie.com.
BAAFF empowers Asian Americans through film by showcasing Asian American experiences and serving as a resource to filmmakers and the Greater Boston Community. BAAFF is a program of the Asian American Resource Workshop, a member-based organization that seeks to document the diverse Asian Pacific American histories, experiences, and social conditions, respond to current Asian Pacific American issues, and promote Asian Pacific American identity.