Love as a science.
Sarah McCarthy’s The Dark Matter of Love is a fascinating visual study about child development. Initially, the subject matter may not seem of interest to audiences; however this particular documentary involves transporting three orphaned Russian children to the United States and seeing how they adapt to their new American family. Since both groups have gone through different experiences and within different cultures, the children require assistance from two developmental psychologists to help them manage to become a larger and more loving family.
Claudio and Cheryl Diaz are two parents who deeply love their teenage daughter, Cami Diaz, and live happily in their warm home, in Wisconsin. After a series of miscarriages, the Diaz family feels it’s time to adopt three more children to create a larger family. Masha Kulabokhova is an eleven-year-old girl from Russia. She grew up in an orphanage not knowing anything about her birth parents and not familiar with being showered with affection as her new sister Cami. Marcel and Vadim are five year old Russian twins who also grew up in an orphanage. Due to their parentless lifestyles and being picked on by older boys, the twins are very protective of each other and don’t trust adults. With these mixed personalities, the Diaz family contacts Dr. Robert Marvin (a child psychologist) to help them to understand each other and develop lasting, loving, and healthy bonds.
An insightful documentary.
The Dark Matter of Love is an insightful documentary on child-parent relationships, showing the difficulties of adopting children raised in state institutions. The Diaz family are charming from the start, and the viewer immediately likes them and supports the family on their goal to accommodate the new Russian members of their household. The Russian children themselves are interesting, real, and delightful–although mischievous. Both groups have different ideals of family life, and this is shown early in the film–the Diaz family and their Disneyland view of the world, and the orphaned children who only had either themselves or each other to cushion the blows of their daily life.
Much about the casts’ backgrounds are revealed, and a wide range of emotions are expressed in full view of the audience. There is no doubt that these are real people having a real experience in finding out how to adjust to children from different backgrounds. With the help of Dr. Marvin, Claudio and Cheryl confront their own pasts with their families in order to handle their present situation, and use new parenting methods obtained from over a hundred years worth of research on child psychology. They learn that healing is an essential part of the parenting process and will bring them closer to their children. In time and with work, the Diaz family becomes a beautifully diverse and strong unit.
Parents and people without kids alike will be charmed by this documentary as The Dark Matter of Love is authentic with kind people wanting to do good for their new children. The film could also be seen from the standpoint of two different cultures interacting with each other in a brand new way and demonstrating how we can cooperate with one another in a harmonious fashion through the special bond found between parent and child.
This review was made possible courtesy of Sarah McCarthy and the kind people who made The Dark Matter of Love possible.