Finding Christa

Institute History

  • 1992 Sundance Film Festival


Nineteen sixty-two was a painful year for a young, black, single mother named Camille Billops. She put her four-year-old daughter, Christa, up for adoption, with the understanding that she would never know who adopted her daughter or have any contact with the child again. Finding Christa tells the story from its beginning in Los Angeles when Camille’s lover refused to marry her and she decided to give up her child. Through interviews with friends and relatives, this deeply moving film explores her dilemma as an artist and a single mother.

Finding Christa is also the story of Christa, her life at the Children’s Home Society of Los Angeles and her adoptive family. Although she lived happily with her adoptive mother, Margaret, and her siblings, Christa could not stop searching daily through the streets and nightly through her dreams for a glimpse of her natural mother. In 1980, with help from ALMA, an organization that assists children in finding their natural parents, Christa located her mother in New York City. Finally Finding Christa is a tribute to Margaret Liebig, Christa’s adoptive mother, who not only loved her, but also encouraged her to search for her natural mother.

Written, directed and produced by Camille Billops and James Hatch, Finding Christa skillfully and imaginatively interweaves still photographs, home movies, dramatized sequences and interviews with family members to create a richly textured and life-affirming portrait of three independent and spirited black women.

— Norman Wang

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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