7.8/10
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1 user 2 critic

In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee (2010)

In the 1960s just before being adopted from a Korean orphanage by an American family, my identity was switched with another girl named Cha Jung Hee. I was told to keep the switch a secret, ... See full summary »

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3 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Deann Borshay ...
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Storyline

In the 1960s just before being adopted from a Korean orphanage by an American family, my identity was switched with another girl named Cha Jung Hee. I was told to keep the switch a secret, then sent to America. In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee is a personal essay that chronicles my journey to find my double, while exploring the ethical and social dimensions of international transracial adoption. The film is a poignant reflection on memory, identity and what it means to walk in someone else's shoes. Written by Anonymous

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identity | switch | shoe | memory | girl | See All (57) »

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Every lie has a consequence.


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12 March 2010 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Poignant documentary of self-discovery
3 July 2011 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Ms. Borsay's story is certainly unusual. And with the use of war footage, old photographs and video, and dogged reporting, she pulls it all together in a powerful way.

I liked this movie a lot, and was even able to draw my 14- and 8-year-old sons into watching. "It's sad, my older boy said, as he left the room. But he came back later to see what happened in this real-life mystery. The movie has a way of making you wish Ms. Borsay well in her quest to peel back the skin of a past cloaked in deception and expediency.

The sensitive and patient Ms. Borsay helps us learn a little about the seemingly forgotten Korean War, and she sheds some light on foreign adoption -- another topic seemingly taken for granted in affluent America. We learn about modern South Korea as well, as the director finds her way into the homes and businesses of women who have nothing in common but the three-character-name of the title.

While it's not a complaint, I was struck by the solitary nature of Ms. Borsay's exploration. Although she makes passing mention of her marriage and children, none of these family members appear elsewhere or accompany her. It left me wondering how they feel about Ms. Borsay's obsession and whether her lifelong sense of not belonging has extended to the next generation.

I don't know this director, or whether she has other projects in the works. But I do love her quiet, understated style of storytelling. So I hope her curiosity takes her beyond this powerful search for her roots.


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