Home away from home

Feature Competition

JEE Hye-won | 2021 | Documentary | Color | DCP | 95min 23sec (E)


Anna, Korean name Kim Myong-hee. 43 years after her adoption to the United States, she visits a remote island in the Yellow Sea. There in Deokjeok Island live Suh Jae-song and In Hyun-ae, a couple who raised orphaned Anna as if she were their own. Their house on the island has two special rooms. One is a room full of records of all the children the couple sent for adoption. The other is a temporary home for all adoptees who come visit Korea later in life. The couple lived as foster parents for these children for 30 years since 1966. Together with a Catholic priest from the US, they sent 1,600 kids to the US for adoption. They sent Myong-hee, then 14-year-old, and her two brothers to a family in the US in the hopes of them living in a happy household under loving parents. But contrary to their wishes, Myong-hee’s life in America turns out to be a series of pain and misfortunes. For the first time in 43 years, Myong-hee talks about her painful memories.


Korea's 70-year history of overseas adoption left deep scars on many people. Myong-hee, who feels like she neither belongs to the United States nor Korea and wanders in search of her true home. Suh Jae-song and his wife In Hyun-ae, who despite their efforts to be a mother and a father for the orphans had to live with life-long emotional burdens. They are the people who bore the pain of international adoption. Myong-hee tells us that she misses Deokjeok Island when she’s in Minnesota and vice versa. Through her story, we want to tell the story of adoptees, who are stuck wandering between two places forever. At the same time, we look at Suh’s room full of meticulous records to think about our society’s obligations for the 200 thousand adoptees.

JEE Hye-won

JEE Hye-won

2016 Singing with Angry Bird
2018 Free Minu


Director JEE Hye-won
Producer SONG Woo-yong
Cinematographer WON Sung-deuk, CHO Kyong-ho
Editor PARK Ki-jung, JEE Hye-won
Music KIM Ji-yeon
Cast KIM Myong-hee, SUH Jae-song, IN Hyun-ae