Film 'Forget Me Not' tells story of single mothers forced to put children up for adoption
Updated: 2021-06-04 09:59:51 KST
"I feel like I do belong here in Korea.
I hope my mother is well.
I hope she watches the film because I made it for her, and I hope that if she watches it, she understands that I don't have any resentment towards her."
Film director Shin Sun-hee was given two names when she was a baby: Lisbeth and Sun-hee.
One from her Danish adoptive parents but the other she wasn't sure.
Sun-hee grew up wondering about who had named her.. could it have been her South Korean birth mother, a woman she had never met?
So, in 2002 she headed to South Korea in search of some answers.
"It was such a big shock for me to realize that there was a country, and there was a people and I could blend in for the first time in my life, it was such a strong experience of being anonymous and also feeling very comfortable"
But, despite 20 years of separation, Sun-hee's birth mother refused to meet her.
"I was absolutely devastated by the news, I just broke down in tears"
The film "Forget Me Not - A Letter To My Mother" covers a subject rarely discussed what leaves single mothers in South Korea with no choice but to give up raising their own child?
After spending two years at a single mother's shelter and meeting with over 20 different women, Sun-hee felt like she was able to understand her mother's decision.
She realized that for single mothers in Korea sometimes the decision isn't entirely up to them.
"I really want to raise the baby if mom and dad allow it."
Sometimes it's members of their extended family, teachers, and even people at work who weigh in on the decision.
But not everyone shares the burden afterwards.
"People don't care about a woman's trauma after sending her child away and there's no therapy or help for them. The whole thing is just swept under the rug, but it's the women and the children who have to live with the decision."
After eight years since the project began, the film finally opened in theaters on Thursday, delivering Director Shin Sun-hee's own message to her birth mother.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News