Approved for Adoption

Jung Henin, artist and director of “Approved for Adoption”, stands in front of a photo of Harry Holt during a tour of Holt’s main office in Eugene, Oregon.

“I recognize this picture,” Jung Henin says, pointing at the picture of Bertha Holt in a flowy, pink dress surrounded by children on the back cover of her own book, “Seed from the East.”

“It was at Ilsan when I was there,” he says, “but very big. It is making me remember.”

Last week, Jung, a graphic artist turned film director, was in Eugene, Oregon to screen his new film “Approved for Adoption” — an illustrated memoir about his experience growing up in Belgium in the 70s as a Korean adoptee — at the Cinema Pacific Film Festival. His film is raking in awards internationally, from film festivals in Italy to Armenia and beyond — proof that the subject and message of the film extend far beyond audiences touched by adoption.

“It’s not a film about adoption only,” Jung says, as he sits in a yellow armchair at Holt’s headquarters. “I’m adopted, so I tell that story, but the different thematics — identity, uprooting — it’s universal. It’s a story about relationships.” Continue reading “Approved for Adoption”