Imaginary Mothers is a feature-length documentary about four mothers from Costa Rica: Crescencia Maria Castro Chaves, Helen Xiomara Barrantes Mora, Xinia Sancho Viquez and Doris Benavides Morales. These women’s lives have been forever changed by adoption. They bravely reveal the heart-breaking impact that losing their children has had on their lives and as they fight to be reconnected with their children, they also struggle against the myths about young single mothers in Latin America.
The director of Imaginary Mothers, an adoptee from Costa Rica, tells the story of her mother, Angela Arias, who never gave up hope to see her again. In making this film, she learns about her Costa Rican family’s grief over her disappearance and their longing to understand the true circumstances around the adoption.
This film brings to light the circumstances surrounding international adoption in Latin America during the 80’s and 90’s, and the many warning signs that were ignored about corruption in international adoption. This film is not just about women in Costa Rica, but also about women all over the world who have lost their children through adoption.
The mothers in this film speak out for recognition of the wrongs committed against them and their children. This is the first time these women tell their story, and, in doing so, they reveal a universal truth about the need for redemption and validation for mothers in this situation. Together, these women find a voice in the film to tell their stories and encourage social and political change.