06-24 November 2019



Film For ThoughtDocumentaries
Deann Liem

United States, Sweden, Switzerland, United States, South Korea

2019 / 82’ / Hawaii Premiere / English


In this powerful tale about the rise of Korea’s global adoption program, four adult adoptees return to their country of birth and reconnect with their roots, mapping the geographies of kinship that bind them to a homeland they never knew. Along the way there are discoveries and dead ends, as well as mysteries that will never be unraveled.

Ultimately what emerges is a deepened sense of self and belonging, as well as a sense of purpose, as GEOGRAPHIES OF KINSHIP’S four protagonists question the policies and practices that led South Korea to become the largest “sending country” in the world—with 200,000 children adopted out to North America, Europe and Australia. Emboldened by their own experiences and what they have learned, these courageous characters become advocates for birth family and adoptee rights, support for single mothers, and historical reckoning. 

Emmy Award-winning documentarian Deann Borshay Liem, internationally known for her landmark adoption films FIRST PERSON PLURAL and IN THE MATTER OF CHA JUNG HEE, explores the complexities of post-war adoption programs that have been in existence for over half a century. The Korean adoption experience and subsequent diaspora have transformed not only how adoption is practiced worldwide, but also how kinship, identity and race are perceived and contested.

-Anderson Le

Sunday 10 14:15 - 16:27Regal Dole Cannery 1
Monday 11 16:00 - 17:37Regal Dole Cannery 14
DirectorDeann Liem.
CastEstelle Cooke-Sampson, Dae-Won Kim, Jane Jeong Trenka and Lenakim Arctaedius.
ScreenplayDeann Liem.
CinematographerMichael Chin.
EditorVivien Hillgrove.
MusicTodd Boekelheide.
SoundJt Takagi.
PrizeJury Award, Best Documentary Feature, Dallas Asian Film Festival
Audience Award, Best Documentary, Dallas Asian Film Festival
Special Jury Award, Austin Asian American Film Festival

Producer            Deann Borshay Liem

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