BY Julie Bolcer
January 20 2010 5:50 PM ET
Family in all its diversity took center stage at a special screening
Tuesday night of the new Rosie O’Donnell documentary for HBO, A Family Is A Family Is A Family: A Rosie O’Donnell Celebration.
The star appeared with her ex, Kelli Carpenter, and their four children
to help unveil the film, which showcases the variety of contemporary
”We were trying to make as full a palette as we could
to really show a cross section of what families are really made up of
in today’s society,” O’Donnell told Advocate.com at the screening,
hosted by HBO and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. “We went to a bunch of different schools in
New York, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas. We said it was a Rosie
O’Donnell film, and the families that said, ‘We’d like to participate,’
we vetted them on that.”
The 40-minute documentary,
directed by Amy Schatz, presents various family structures,
including same-sex parents, mixed-heritage families, single parents,
and stories of adoption. Children largely provide the commentary, which
ranges from too cute to poignantly mature.
Four-year-old Maya, who was adopted from China, speaks on-screen about her biological family, for instance.
still really loved me, but the policy was only one child allowed so they
wanted to get a boy,” she says. Of her adoptive parents, she
says, “They really actually want me,” .
The four children O’Donnell shares
with Carpenter also appear in the film, anchored by a sequence
featuring the youngest, Vivienne Rose, age 6.