Film: Mercy Mercy

Published: 2 years ago

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Words Kiran Yoliswa

A Danish film exploring the emotive issue of non-Africans adopting African children (explored in ARISE issue 13) has been nominated for a First Appearance Award at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.

The film, Mercy Mercy, was one of around 300 films from around the world showcased at the festival, which ended this weekend.

The story follows an HIV-positive couple in Ethiopia, who are coerced into giving up their two young children, Masho and Roba. We also meet the children's new parents in Denmark, who have promised them a better life.

Director Katrine Riis Kjae investigates what is promoted as a win-win situation – and the very different reality – showing that adoption is not always as merciful as it seems. Although access to treatment makes the parents in Ethiopia healthier, they are suffering with the consequences of their decision and the lack of news they receive about their children, while not everything goes as planned for the new parents in Denmark.

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