We open up with a man recounting the day when, as a child, he discovered that he was kidnapped when he was a 2 day old baby. In a Chicago hospital in April 1964 a woman dressed as a nurse took Paul Fonczac from his mother’s arms and jumped in a taxi, never to be seen again. A manhunt was launched by the FBI in search of this woman. His parents Chester and Dora Fonczac were obviously devastated.
15 months later a child is found abandoned in a stroller on the street in New Jersey and reunited with Mr and Mrs Fronczac. Ten years later the child discovered newspaper clippings and the seed of doubt is sown. Shut off from any further discussion, the child developed doubt that he ever was who he thought he was. The shadow had been cast and it would follow him for the rest of his life.
As an adult Paul is still searching for answers. He never felt settled or fulfilled, always doubting his true identity and wondering whether his parents secretly thought he wasn’t really their son.
This search leads to a rollercoaster of twists and turns, DNA, investigative journalists and TV interviews. Director Ursula Macfarlane feeds us information very carefully so that we’re always on the edge of discovering something new and trying to put the pieces together for ourselves.
The film brings up the idea that we are intrinsically tied to our heritage, and that to be unable to know who our parents are, or even something as simple as when our birthday is leaves us bereft of identity. The need for that identity is so great that it can overpower us and consume everything we already possess.
Enjoyment of the film will depend on how much audiences can connect with the main subject. He does feel more like an actor than a real person at times so it’s not clear whether we’re getting genuine personality or if it’s at least partly for show. But with such a short runtime, Macfarlane has created a punchy whirlwind of intrigue in one man’s search for his true family.
Hi, I'm Caz. I live in Edinburgh and I watch a lot of films. My reviews focus mainly on women in film - female directors or how women are represented on screen.