Relative Strangers

Relative Strangers

Relative Strangers follows a group of mixed-race adopted Koreans — the adult children of U.S. servicemen and Korean women — as they team up with search experts and DNA specialists in their decades-long quest to find their first families.

Their journey begins in Korea during the 2017 Mosaic Tour, a special trip designed to help them locate their Korean families. Seeking any information about their adoptions, they visit agencies and orphanages, scour fading records, and piece together shards of memory—their own and those of the elders who cared for them, or managed their cases and sent them out into an unknown world. For most, it is their first time back in Korea since infancy, and their encounters are filled with warmth, sorrow and tenderness but not necessarily resolution.

Determined to leave no stone unturned, they continue their detective work on their return home, this time focusing on finding their American birth fathers. They team up with DNA specialists, research census and military records, and reach out to veterans on social media. Will they find their relatives? And if so, how will they be received? Will their hearts be broken again?

Originating in a war that divided families and an entire nation and unfolding in the aftermath of that un-ended war, Relative Strangers is a story of loss, discovery, and renewal. A longitudinal project that began filming in 2017, Relative Strangers represents Mu Films' ongoing examination of the human dimensions and hidden legacies of the Korean War. The project is currently in production.