Removed is a moving documentary that will forever change the way you think about children in foster care.
It begins with the words of a child: “How could you ever understand where I come from? Even if you ask, even if you listen, you will not really hear or see or feel. You don’t know my story. You haven’t walked my path. You haven’t seen what I’ve seen.”
This film follows the path of a girl who has experienced a lifetime of hell in a few short years. Abuse. Neglect. Removal from her home. Foster placement. Foster placement. Foster placement. It looks into the heart of a child who has been into the darkest corners of the universe and attempts to speak the words they could if they were able.
“I am unseen. Unheard. Unwanted,” she says, “That is what I am. If even I am anything.”
Glimpsing the foster care experience from within the heart and mind of a child is a powerful experience. Often we think of it from the parental perspective – a foster parent dealing with a child having a meltdown, a child who is angry or throws tantrums or breaks things. This shows us what’s behind those fear-drive behaviors, makes them understandable. But Zoe explains what it’s like to be in this world where the floor is always disappearing from beneath your feet: “It seemed like it was always nighttime and nightmares and never morning.”
“I’ve heard plenty of promises and they all sound the same. But push hard enough and they all prove to be empty.”