Mu Films produces and distributes documentaries about social, political and cultural issues in Korea and America today.
About Deann Borshay LiemDeann Borshay Liem is an amazing woman, Korean Adoptee, successful film producer/director/writer. Check out her films, order a DVD, if you are an Adoptee or any person of “This Thing of Ours-Adoption”.
Deann Borshay Liem has over twenty years experience working in development, production and distribution of educational and public television programming. She was Producer/Director/Writer for the Emmy Award-nominated documentary, First Person Plural (Sundance, 2000; Grand Jury Award, Best Bay Area Documentary, San Francisco Intl. Film Festival), and Co-Executive Producer for Spencer Nakasako's Kelly Loves Tony (PBS, 1998) and AKA Don Bonus (PBS, 1996, Emmy Award). She served as Co-Producer for Marianne Teleki's Special Circumstances which follows Chilean exile, Hector Salgado, as he attempts to reconcile with former interrogators and torturers in Chile.
She is the former Director of the National Asian American Telecommunications Association (NAATA) where she supervised the development, distribution and broadcast of new films for public television and worked with Congress to support minority representation in public media. Deann is a recipient of a Rockefeller Film/Video Fellowship for her new feature-length documentary, Precious Objects of Desire, which is currently in production.
In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee is a feature-length documentary that serves as a follow-up to Deann Borshay Liem’s earlier film, First Person Plural. In the film, she searches for her “double” – a girl named Cha Jung Hee – in an attempt to resolve a case of mistaken identity that took place when she was adopted by an American family in 1966. The search for Cha Jung Hee serves as a springboard for exploring complex ethical and socio/political questions involving international transracial adoptions, and the impact these issues have on individuals and families. Produced in association with the Katahdin Foundation, and co-produced by Charlotte Lagarde, the film is currently in production.
Filmmaker’s StatementCha Jung Hee was a fellow orphan at the Sun Duck Orphanage in South Korea in the 1960s. She and I had nothing in common and I did not know her personally. And yet, at age 8, just before I was sent to the U.S. to be adopted by the Borshay family in California, my identity was switched with hers without anyone’s knowledge. I was given Cha Jung Hee’s name, birth date and family history and told to keep the switch a secret.
Simultaneously, through a bureaucratic sleight of hand, my previous identity was completely erased. For years, Cha Jung Hee was, paradoxically, both a stranger and also my official identity – a persona unknown, but always present, defining my life. In In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee, I search for Cha Jung Hee to finally put her erstwhile existence to rest by meeting her in real life and finding out how she has fared.
In the course of searching for Cha Jung Hee, I meet and interview a diverse selection of Korean orphans and adoptees, each with their own quests and extraordinary stories to tell. A biracial Korean-Black war orphan, shunned by Korean society, who as an adult meets potential biological siblings; twins adopted and raised in France, who speak only the French language, on their way “home” to Korea to visit their birth mother; an orphan from the North who was sent with several thousand Korean War orphans to Romania who recalls the painful post-war years and what it was like to grow up in a boarding school in Eastern Europe; and many others.
These stories are contextualized within a history of adoptions from Korea starting with the Korean War. Together, they illuminate how adoptions from Korea are closely associated with U.S. military involvement on the Korean peninsula, the prosperity and optimism of American society following World War II, and Cold War politics, all of which have led South Korea to become the number one “exporter,” and the U.S. the largest “importer,” of adopted children in the world.
First Person Plural was broadcast nationally on PBS in December, 2000, through the award-winning documentary series, Point of View (POV). We invite you to explore this site for in-depth information about the program.
Deann was eight years old when she was sent to America. She bravely brought both her biological and adoptive families together.
Deann also has some excellent resource material and links under “First Person Plural” sub-links “Adoption History”, “Resources”, etc. Watch for her next film Precious Objects of Desire, which is currently in production.