University of Pittsburgh
March 17, 2011

Pitt to Present the Film In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee With Filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem

Lucy Fischer, Distinguished Professor of English and Film, will give a response
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The Consortium for Adoption Studies within the University of Pittsburgh Department of English will present a screening of In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee (2010) with a discussion by its acclaimed filmmaker, Deann Borshay Liem, and a response by Lucy Fischer, Pitt Distinguished Professor of English and Film, at 7:30 p.m. March 23 in Room 349 of the Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland. 

Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences, Asian Studies Center, Film Studies Program, and Women’s Studies Program are cosponsoring the free public event. 

When Liem came to the United States at the age of eight in 1966, her passport listed her as Cha Jung Hee, even though she knew that she was not that person. She had been told to keep her true identity a secret from her new American family, and before long she forgot that she had ever been anyone else. 

In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee follows Liem as she returns to her native Korea to find her “double,” the mysterious girl whose place she took in America. In the film, Liem meets many women named Cha Jung Hee, and through their stories imagines what her life would have been like had she stayed in Korea. She also delves deeper into the bureaucratic switch that changed her life and raises questions about the practices and ethics of international adoptions from South Korea. 

The film is a coproduction of Mu Films and the Independent Television Service, in association with the Center for Asian American Media, Katahdin Productions, and American Documentary/P.O.V., with major funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

Among the honors the film has received are the Comcast Audience Award for Best Documentary at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, Special Jury Awards for Best Director and for Best Editing at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and being named the Official Selection at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in North Carolina. 

In The Matter of Cha Jung Hee is a sequel to the award-winning film First Person Plural (2000), which Liem will show in Pitt Professor of English Marianne Novy’s class Literature of Adoption at 2 p.m. March 23 in Room 2320, Cathedral of Learning. There is limited additional seating in the class. 

To inquire about attending the class or for more information about the evening screening event, contact Novy at