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  • Approved for Adoption

Approved for Adoption

SKU: SG1067

    Approved for Adoption (2012) is a French–Belgian documentary directed by Jung Henin and Laurent Boileau. Approved for Adoption is suitable for secondary students in Years 9–10. The film can be used as a resource in the domains of English, The Arts (Media Studies and Visual Arts), Humanities (History), Languages (French) and Physical, Personal and Social Learning (Interpersonal Development). The film is a suitable text for study in VCE English, French and Media Studies.

    'My name is Jung. I was born here, somewhere in Korea. I left this country when I was five. I'm almost forty-four now and I'm returning for the first time. So here is my story. The story of a child who left his country because one day someone wrote on a form "Approved for adoption. Skin colour: honey."'

    Based on an autobiographical graphic novel by Jung Henin, the film's co-writer and co-director, Approved for Adoption is the story of Jung's life-long endeavor to understand his identity and where he belongs. Jung was one of the many Korean children who were orphaned after the Korean War and then adopted by a family from another country.

    Five-year-old Jung was found wandering the streets of Seoul by a policeman and taken to an orphanage. Adopted by a Belgian family in 1971, Jung adapted to his new life, grateful for his second chance. His teenage years proved more problematic; his relationship with his adoptive parents – especially his mother – was strained and he struggled to make sense of his identity. Was he Korean or was he Belgian? Identifying with neither, he became obsessive about Japanese culture instead and pursued his passion for drawing, especially comics.

    At forty-three years of age, Jung's decision to return for the first time to South Korea to see his home country, tread the land of his ancestors and maybe find traces of his biological mother is documented in Approved for Adoption. The trip leads Jung to recall his childhood and adolescence and achieve a reconciliation of sorts with himself, his adoptive family and his homeland.

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