Directed by Deann Borshay Liem, GEOGRAPHIES OF KINSHIP traces the legacy of war and political upheaval on vulnerable members of a traditionally patriarchal society. In this powerful tale about the rise of Korea’s global adoption program, four adult adoptees return to their country of birth and recover the personal histories that were lost when they were adopted. Raised in foreign families, each sets out on a journey to 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.
This film is supported by a California Documentary Project grant.
This week, the film screens at events in the Bay Area. First, at An Orphan For You, a two-day conference from Saturday, February 23 to Sunday, February 24, in Berkeley and Oakland focusing on the rise of US adoption from Korea in the 1970s and 80s. Registration is free online.
Then, on Monday, enjoy a free community cinema screening at the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael. The screening is followed immediately by discussion and Q&A with special guests director Deann Borshay Liem and Kim Stoker, an adoptee/activist featured in the film.
More information on these events: