The documentary film “Resilience,” shown at this year’s Pacific Rim Film Festival, presented a touching hour of two families and cultures coalescing across national borders, in spite of the thousands of miles between them.It tells the story of Myung-Ja and Sung-Wook (Brent), mother and son in South Korea, who were separated in the early 1970s while Myung-Ja was working low wages and long hours. Without Myung-Ja’s consent, her sister and her family put Brent up for adoption in the United States, creating a separation that would last for decades.  All was thought lost, until Brent, born and raised in South Dakota, found a program that helped him find his mother.

Using real footage of the two families, we are witness to the true struggle associated with international adoption.  The film does its job well.

The two are reunited on a live Korean national television show and from there the documentary gives an account of their lives afterward, as they begin to figure out their relationship.   Whether cultural, financial or political, their differences seem to enrich their connection, without even speaking the same language, all in order to create and maintain a familial relationship for themselves and for their children.

Well filmed, with its real-life characters “Resistance” is an effective and powerful documentary showing the many obstacles not just within international adoption, but within cross-cultural communication, and how it is possible to come together, despite differences.