a film by Deann Borshay Liem
Documentary film – 57:00 – 2010
Broadcast on PBS/POV, 2010 – Available on DVD
Her passport said she was Cha Jung Hee. She knew she was not. So began a 40-year deception for a Korean adoptee who came to the US in 1966. Told to keep her true identity a secret from her new American family, this eight-year-old girl quickly forgot she was ever anyone else. But why had her identity been switched? And who was the real Cha Jung Hee? IN THE MATTER OF CHA JUNG HEE is the search to find the answers. It follows acclaimed filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem as she returns to her native Korea to find her “double,” the mysterious girl whose place she took in America. Traversing the landscapes of memory, amnesia and identity, while also uncovering layers of deception in her adoption, this moving and provocative film probes the ethics of international adoptions and reveals the cost of living a lie. Part mystery, part personal odyssey, it raises fundamental questions about who we are…and who we could be but for the hands of fate.
Official Selection, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Special Jury Award, Best Director, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Special Jury Award, Best Editing, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Director, Producer, Writer: Deann Borshay Liem
Producer: Charlotte Lagarde
Editor: Vivien Hillgrove
Director of Photography: Michael Chin
Cinematographer: Byung Ho Lee
Sound Recordist: JT Takagi
Composer: Todd Boekelheide
Production Manager: Jongsuk Lee
Assistant Editor: Chelsea Walton
IN THE MATTER OF CHA JUNG HEE is a co-production of Mu Films and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), in association with Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Katahdin Productions, and American Documentary/P.O.V., with major funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).