Deann Borshay Liem is a documentary film producer, writer, and director living in Berkeley, California. As a Korean adoptee, many of her films focus on the phenomenon of international adoption and the finding of and reunion with birth parents. Her film First Personal Plural (Emmy Award-nominated) is a chronicle of her own experience as an adopted child. Her second film, In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee also examined identity, family, and the native home.
Liem recently launched a kickstarter campaign to fund her next project, Geographies of Kinship. Liem's goal is to reach $75,000 by July 31st. As of today, the project has 97 backers and a pledged $9,617. In the posted video, Liem explains that "Geographies of Kinship" will focus on a group of adopted individuals around the world– France, Sweden, San Francisco, all with Korean roots. The film will follow each individual's personal stories and journeys. As Liem explains, "we all have Korean faces but speak different languages and are assimilated into each of our cultural milieus."
Watching the kickstarter video I was struck by how each of the individuals had managed to maintain an aspect of "korean-ness," despite being immersed in a new, adopted culture. One man, who grew up in France, stated that he felt "45% Korean and the rest French." How does one stay in contact with one's roots? In what ways is being adopted like a second birth? How much of their past life with their birth parents do adoptees remember? These are all questions that Liem is delving into.
Check out Deann Borshay Liem's Kickstarter page to learn more.