I found her...
For me, Searching for Angela Shelton is a film about a woman who sets out on the road to piece together who she is and what it means to be a woman. In the beginning, I feel that Angela doesn't exactly know what her documentary is going to say. She knows that many of the Angela's have been abused but Angela is still unsure of what her film will say and what the story is. In the end after the encounter with her father, Angela discovers that she is the only one who can give herself closure to her childhood experiences. To me, that is the story that Angela tells.
To make this discovery, Angela interviews the other Angela Sheltons of the United States. Overall, Angela uses her camera power responsibly. Although many argue that she abuses her power when interviewing these women, I would say that she does not have any responsibility to these women. I do not believe that Angela forces these women to do interviews with her about their lives (whether abusive or not). She may pry and keep calling them even after they have said no, but these women can hang up or not open their door, etc. Does a psychologist doing an research on victims of abuse have the responsibility to make sure that every single one of them goes into treatment. No. I believe that ultimately, people are responsible for themselves. For example, the anonymous Angela Shelton continued to talk to Angela and at the end of the movie it is revealed that she did start some sort of treatment.
The area that was problematic for me was that in the beginning of the film Angela Shelton says how she is interested in knowing about the "women of America". However, on her map it appears as though she only visits the Southeast of the United States, which leaves out a large majority of the other "Angela Sheltons". Also, the women of America are more than just half black and half white. They are also Asian, a mix of different races, handicapped, incarcerated, of a variety of religions, etc. She uses races as a dichotomy for women. She are not just white and black.... oh and one Muslim woman, who is awkwardly placed at the end of the film and sort of left out of telling a real story.
I feel that Angela wouldn't have been able to make this movie in a different way, but only because when she sets out on the road she doesn't know what story she will be telling. Possibly if I would have made the film, I would have tried to focus more on the other Angela Sheltons instead of sobbing about my own experience in a foster home.