‘Off and Running’ screening at law school Oct. 6

Panel discussion will follow the award-winning documentary on transracial adoption

The School of Law is hosting a screening and discussion of the award-winning documentary “Off and Running” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6, in the Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom of Anheuser-Busch Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

In “Off and Running,” filmmaker Nicole Opper chronicles the coming-of-age story of Avery, the adopted daughter of white Jewish lesbian parents and sister to two adopted brothers — one mixed-race and one Korean.

Avery grew up in a loving household, but when her curiosity about her African-American roots grows, she decides to contact her birth mother. This choice propels Avery into her own complicated exploration of race, identity and family that threatens to distance her from the parents she has always known.

She begins staying away from home, starts skipping school and risks losing her shot at the college track career she had always dreamed of. But when Avery decides to pick up the pieces of her life and make sense of her identity, the results are inspiring.

“Off and Running” follows Avery to the brink of adulthood, exploring the strength of family bonds and the lengths people must go to become themselves.

The Public Broadcasting Service included this documentary in its recent POV (a cinema term for “point of view”) series.

A panel discussion featuring people who have a personal adoption-related story that highlights particular issues or themes from the film will follow the screening.

The panelists are:

  • Annette Appell, JD, associate dean of clinical affairs and professor of law;
  • Katherine Goldwasser, JD, professor of law; and
  • Terry Crow, JD, local attorney and former University City mayoral candidate.

Susan Frelich Appleton, JD, the Lemma Barkeloo and Phoebe Couzins Professor of Law, whose scholarship and teaching focuses on adoption, will serve as moderator.

With this event, Appleton continues a tradition she began last spring when she organized a screening and panel discussion featuring another award-winning film about adoption, “Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam.”

For more information, call Jeanne Heil-Chapdelaine at (314) 935-7567 or e-mail at jheil@wulaw.wustl.edu.

More information about the documentary is available at offandrunningthefilm.com/.