My GIANT apologies to my friends at PBS as I am writing this post WAY too late. I misunderstood the airing schedule and thought these amazing documentaries weren't being broadcast until November and it turns out they aired on PBS in August and September but can be seen online through the end of November. Oops. My bad. I'm horrible with dates.
Nevertheless, I wanted to put out a quick blurb to the blogosphere and let you all know that these are three documentaries about adoption that are worth watching. They are thought provoking and important. Most of you know that I was adopted from South Korea as an infant and have very strong opinions and views on international adoption, open adoption, single motherhood, trans-racial adoption and the many issues surrounding adoption, in general. Adoption is becoming a more and more "accepted" family building block in our American culture, but we often forget to ask the important and, sometimes, difficult questions: Who does adoption affect? How are individual lives changed? What is ethical when dealing with a transaction involving the transplantation of a human being?
I was honored to receive screening copies of each film and can honesty say that all three were moving, fascinating, informative, enlightening and more. I'm was also fortunate enough to have met the filmmakers and their film subjects during their press stop here in Los Angeles. They are proud of their films and I'm am really happy to be able to help get the word about their work.
Please take the time to go online to view and support these important documentaries. They will be available on the PBS website through November 30, 2010.
In The Matter Of Cha-Jung Hee
Filmmaker: Deann Borshay Liem
Synopsis (per PBS): Her passport said she was Cha Jung Hee. She knew she was not. So began a 40-year deception for a Korean adoptee who came to the United States in 1966. Told to keep her true identity secret from her new American family, the 8-year-old girl quickly forgot she had ever been anyone else. But why had her identity been switched? And who was the real Cha Jung Hee? In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee is the search to find the answers, as acclaimed filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem (First Person Plural, POV 2000) returns to her native Korea to find her “double,” the mysterious girl whose place she took in America
Wo Ai Ni (I Love You Mommy)
Filmmaker: Stephanie Wang-Breal
What is it like to be torn from your Chinese foster family, put on a plane with strangers and wake up in a new country, family and culture? Stephanie Wang-Breal’s Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommyis the story of Fang Sui Yong, an 8-year-old orphan, and the Sadowskys, the Long Island Jewish family that travels to China to adopt her. Sui Yong is one of 70,000 Chinese children now being raised in the United States. Through her eyes, we witness her struggle with a new identity as she transforms from a timid child into someone that no one — neither her new family nor she — could have imagined.
Off And Running
Filmmaker: Nicole Opper
Off and Running tells the story of Brooklyn teenager Avery, a track star with a bright future. She is the adopted African-American child of white Jewish lesbians. Her older brother is black and Puerto Rican and her younger brother is Korean. Though it may not look typical, Avery’s household is like most American homes — until Avery writes to her birth mother and the response throws her into crisis. She struggles over her “true” identity, the circumstances of her adoption and her estrangement from black culture. Just when it seems as if her life is unraveling, Avery decides to pick up the pieces and make sense of her identity, with inspiring results.