I got an e-mail sent in from co-producer Jessica Windt of the film "Resilience" that their film will be making its Los Angeles premiere at the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival on Wednesday, May 4 at 7:00pm and is nominated for Best Documentary by the LAAPFF jury.
(New York, NY; April 2011) “As long as I’m alive, I will do everything I can for you… No matter how much I give, it will never be enough. That’s a mother’s love.” Words said, yet not understood after thirty years of separation between a mother and son in the documentary film Resilience.Cool.
This award-winning documentary takes a look at a side of adoption rarely told—what happens after the reunion. Resilience follows a Korean birth mother and her American son as they reunite and attempt to build a relationship after 30 years apart. Unable to communicate with each other, clashing culturally, the film follows the perspectives of both mother and son as they struggle to become a family again.
Resilience makes its Los Angeles premiere at the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival on Wednesday, May 4 at 7:00pm. The feature documentary is nominated for Best Documentary by the LAAPFF jury. Winners will be announced at the festival’s closing night gala. Ticketing and information at: www.asianfilmfestla.org
As a young mother, Myung-ja Noh found herself on the verge of poverty and desperation. Leaving her son in the care of relatives, she went to another city for work. When she returned, her baby was gone—taken away and put up for adoption.
Living in South Dakota, Brent Beesley had an “all-American” upbringing, hardly questioning his origins or Korean identity. Brent had always wondered why he was given up but never thought he would find the answer—until a search for his medical records lands him on Korean national TV meeting his biological mother for the first time.
Director Tammy Chu knows this material well. She made her first short documentary, Searching for Go-hyang (1998) about her own reunion with her Korean family. Chu takes an insider’s perspective on adoption as well as reunion. She captures the nuanced interaction and emotional expressions of mother and son, adoptee and natural mother, in Resilience, her directorial feature debut.
In Resilience, we witness Myung-ja and Brent’s lives change after they reunite. But the reunion is short-lived, and Brent must return home. Meeting twice over the next four years, they navigate a delicate, indirect path towards reconciliation and understanding.
Behind the emotional reunion lies an unsettling history. Brent learns that it was his grandmother and aunt who made the decision to put him up for adoption, unbeknownst to his mother, Myung-ja. Theirs is one story of literally thousands where children were sent away for adoption from South Korea, sometimes without parental consent.
An estimated 200,000 children have been adopted internationally from South Korea since the Korean War (1950-53). Today, South Korea has reached the ranks of developed, economically advanced nations, yet continues to send over one thousand children abroad annually. One of the main factors is stigma against single mothers in Korea, and a lack of government support. Over 90% of children adopted internationally from Korea are born to single mothers. Even today, single mothers are shamed into silence and discouraged from raising their own children. Instead they are encouraged to give up their children for domestic or international adoption.
Resilience is a story about what it means to be a family, including the challenges of building broken ties and coming to terms with the past. Myung-ja and Brent’s story appeals to anyone who knows the loss of being separated from a loved one, only to have the hope of finding them again.
Resilience was awarded “Best Documentary” by the DC APA Film Festival and the Asian Film Festival of Dallas and made official award recipient by the Palm Beach International Women’s Film Festival. Resilience has been invited to screen in countries around the world including the U.S., South Korea, Australia and the Netherlands.
Resilience has been made possible through independent fundraising, outreach and support. The film was completed in September 2009 with the help of an online fundraising campaign. Using social media, over $11,000 was raised in one month by individual donations from nonprofit groups and individual supporters primarily from the international adoption community.
To view the film trailer and learn more visit: http://www.resiliencefilm.com/Clips.html
Resilience is a Korea-U.S. co-production by Nameless Films and KoRoot. Directed/ produced by Tammy Chu, produced/edited by Anthony Gilmore, co-produced by Jessica Windt and executive produced by Do-hyun Kim.
Running Time: 75 minutes
Awards & Festivals
· Asian Film Festival of Dallas, 2010 – *Best Documentary*
· DC APA Film Festival, 2010 – *Best Documentary Feature*
· Pusan International Film Festival, 2009 - Asian Network of Documentary Award
· Palm Beach Women’s International Film Festival, 2011 –*Award Winner*
· Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2011 - *Best Documentary Nominee*
· Vancouver Asian Film Festival, 2010
· IAWRT-India Asian Women’s Film Festival, 2010
· San Diego Asian Film Festival, 2010
· Korean Film Festival, Honolulu, 2011