Side by Side: Out of a South Korean Orphanage and Into the World
Side by Side: Out of a South Korean Orphanage and Into the World documents the stories of inter-country adoption out of South Korea. Filmed in Seattle, Chicago, Boston, New York City, Paris, Stockholm, Amsterdam, and Melbourne, this short film is an international journey through the personal memories and experiences of abandonment, relinquishment, orphanages, aging out, and adoption. Starkly minimalist, Side by Side is composed entirely of intensely intimate, first-person narratives...the stories of a baby being violently thrown from a car at the orphanage front door, relinquishment to a total stranger in a train station, life as "a Martian" and the complexities of being gay and a Korean-American adoptee, reuniting with birth parents and trying to make sense of relationships with mothers and fathers they've never known. These nine stories go far beyond the familiar, but unrealistically simplistic, narratives of humanitarian rescue and forever-love with an adoptive family. And almost unexpectedly, we come to know these former orphans. With every resurfaced memory, every pause, and every revelation, we come to understand their lives and disparate journeys through the world.