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Filmmaker Letter

Filmmaker Letter

Blue Bayou

by writer/director/actor Justin Chon

Thank you so much for taking interest in viewing my film Blue Bayou. It means so much to me that audiences are interested in diverse films that push the boundaries of what has been defined as a traditional family drama.

More specifically, I’m excited for what the film can do in terms of change. I started on this journey five years ago when I saw a string of articles and videos about adoptees brought to the United States as children who found out later in life that they were never registered as American citizens. These children were adopted by Americans, so it’s unfathomable to me that the U.S. government wouldn’t automatically grant them citizenship. There is a Child Citizenship Act of 2000 that automatically grants citizenship to children adopted from overseas after 2000, but it is not currently retroactive.

I stepped behind the camera in order for me to tell stories that represent my community in a humanistic light. That includes the adoptee experience, as many international adoptees are from Asia. This film may be foreign for some, as our lead protagonist is Asian with a Louisianan accent, but I find that exposure is the quickest way for things to be accepted. Hopefully, after a few minutes into the film, the accent and presence of an Asian American in the South will be an afterthought, as well as the idea that our lead, Antonio, is a stepfather to a Caucasian child. Love has no bounds and I hope this film highlights this.

Film has the power to be an empathy machine. This is what I’d like for Blue Bayou to be, an empathy machine for individuals going through this issue.

Hopefully the right people will see this film and change will take place. Most of the time, issues and legislation don’t move forward due to lack of exposure. Maybe this film can shine a light on immigration reform as it pertains to adoptees. I believe they deserve to stay.

Thank you for your consideration. This film is meant for you, the viewing audience, and the adoptee community.

Posted September 9, 2021

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