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Marriage and Parenting, Asian American, Asia, American Culture, Immigration, Women, Human Rights, Religion, China
Tammy Chu
75 minutes


*Best Documentary Asian Film Festival of Dallas
*Best Documentary Feature DC APA Film Festival
*Grand Jury Award Nominee, Best Documentary Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
*Best Documentary Finalist Palm Beach Women's Int'l Film Festival
*Asian Network of Documentary Award Pusan Int'l Film Festival
*Official Selection Vancouver Asian Film Festival
*Official Selection IAWRT India Asian Women's Film Festival
*Official Selection San Diego Asian Film Festival
*Official Selection Annual Asian Studies Film Expo: Asia In Current Motion

"Compelling" -The Korea Herald

"Intimate, charming, compelling." -10 Magazine, Korea



Resilience takes a look at a side of adoption rarely told: what happens after the reunion? Following a Korean birth mother and her American son as they reunite and attempt to build a relationship amidst cultural clashes and unable to speak each others' language, the film follows mother and son as they struggle to become a family again.

As a young mother, Myung-ja 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 taken away and put up for adoption.

Living in South Dakota, Brent had an all-American upbringing, hardly questioning his Korean identity, but he had always wondered why he was put up for adoption. He never thought he would get an answer, and especially not on national Korean TV where, for the first time, he meets his birth mother.

Myung-ja and Brent's reunion after 30 years changes their lives forever. Resilience follows mother and son as they navigate their delicate path towards reconciliation and understanding.



Tammy Chu

Tammy was born in Korea and grew up in the U.S. She is a Director and Producer based in Korea for several years. Tammy graduated with a degree in Cinema and Photography from Ithaca College. Her award-winning first film, Searching for Go-Hyang, was broadcast on PBS (2000) and EBS Korea (2007), and screened at film festivals internationally. She was also an associate producer for the award-winning film Behind Forgotten Eyes (2008), narrated by Lost's Yunjin Kim.

Resilience won two awards for Best Documentary and was nominated for two other awards at film festivals in 2010 and 2011. Since Resilience's release, it has been screening at film festivals, and various other outlets internationally. It was also released in art theaters in Seoul, Korea in 2010.


The educational DVD for Resilience is intended for educators of Asian/Korean/Korean American studies, women’s studies, sociology and anthropology as well as a resource for social workers and adoption professionals to inform and educate prospective and current adoptive parents and adoptees. Included with the DVD are:

40 page discussion guide (Download here) authored by Eleana Kim Ph.d (University of Rochester), author of the book Adopted Territory. Other contributions include a resources index from social worker and blogger Jae Ran Kim (Harlow’s Monkey) and research provided by Kim Park Nelson Ph.d (Minnesota State University) and the US-Korea Institute at SAIS.

Additional video and interviews featuring:
• Brent's adoptive parents
• Dr. Richard Boas, an adoptive father and founder of the Korean Unwed Mothers Support Network
• Sang Soon Han, director of Ae Ran Won, a Korea-based organization that provides support to single mothers
• Other Korean birth parents and single mothers

"Truly heart warming, thought provoking, touching... asking us forgotten questions regarding identity, empathy, communication, family, and most of all resilience and love..." - Dongil Lee, Professor, Sogang University

"An extraordinary and moving film, offers important insights into intercountry adoption for general audiences, those with interests in adoption, and students alike." -Professor Denise Cuthbert, RMIT University Melbourne

Resilience - Educational Use



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