“Am I ugly to you because I’m white?” “Is this really torture?” These are two of some of the jaw-dropping questions that come out of the mouth of Donna Sadowsky, a Long Islander whose adoption of an 8-year-old Chinese girl is chronicled in the fascinating Wo Ai Ni Mommy (“I Love You, Mommy”). Donna and her husband already have two young boys and a toddler when they decide to give them another sibling, whom they name Faith. Faith doesn’t speak a word of English and is terrified when she’s handed off by her loving foster family to the Sadowskys. Director Stephanie Wang-Breal follows them for a year and a half following that fateful moment, and the glimpse is galvanizing. For the most part, Faith’s new family is tender and patient as she overcomes culture shock and picks up her new language. But when they’re not, your heart aches: Donna yells at Faith when, for example, a minor toy misunderstanding ends in tears or she can’t carry her books because of a disability that affects her hands. (Donna’s frequent admonishment: “I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what’s wrong!”) During those rough first months—which the film seems to use as an argument against international adoption—there’s a lot of misery. When Faith cries, in Cantonese, “I’m so unhappy. I want to go back to China!” you think, “No shit.” —TO
At 5:30 p.m. at the Discovery HD Theater; also on Saturday, June 26, at 11 a.m. at AFI Silver Theater 3.