“First Person Plural” was written, directed, and produced by Deann Borshay Liem, an adoptee from South Korea who tells the story of his adoption from a South Korean orphanage to a Californian family. It explores the themes of race, identity, assimilation and birth family reunion.
This documentary has sparked important conversations within the Pacific University community regarding cultural identity, economic dilemmas and a “colorblind.” Such subject matters are not discussed often enough, and it is imperative for the development and progression of our society to have these conversations with each other.
During a recent showing of “First Person Plural” on campus, a space was provided for students to share their truth, speak their thoughts and voice their opinions about the aforementioned issues. Moreover, the screening was able to show that adoption is a choice that can be made in the future.
While it is probable that most Pacific students are not thinking about having children right now, it is important to inform and educate them that there are children in the world that are just as worthy and in need of love as their biological children would be.
From this film, it proved that it is imperative that adoptive parents and families integrate the culture of their adopted child into the home. Borshay explained that while she accepted her adoptive parents as her mother and father, she struggled to accept them as an adult.
It is entirely plausible that if her adoptive parents had worked and invested their time into learning about Borshay’s Korean roots, that this emotional torment could have been an impossibility to her and to her family.
Success can be seen in screenings of films like “First Person Plural,” not in numbers, but in the quality of the conversation and discussion it promotes. The more often Pacific offers spaces for conversations such as this one, the more often progression of interpersonal relationships can take place which can undoubtedly affect our society as a whole.
If we want to see real action and lasting change, these types of conversations must continue. If they do not, then it is entirely possible that our progression towards equality, congruence and cultural competency will come to a halt, disrupting the progress we have worked so hard to achieve.