01 Oct Q&A WITH AARON BATES, REAL STORY OF MY FATHER
LEE ANN KIM: HOW DID THE MOVIE COME ABOUT? WAS IT FROM ALL THE PUBLICITY IN KOREA FOR YOUR SEARCH?
AARON BATES:Yes, the movie came about due to my search [for my biological parents] and publicity. During my ﬁrst military year(1996), I was stationed in Korea.I was very fortunate to have a Korean solider as my roommate.I asked for his help, and he helped ﬁnd the orphanage, then posted an ad in the Kwangju newspaper, which somehow got on a SBS documentary in late 1996. About three years later, I was notified that my biological father was trying to contact me. In July 2000, I met my father for the ﬁrst time at prison surrounded by a lot of Korean media.From October 2000 through January 2002, I got to know my father. During those years, two KBS producers (Hyun Mo Jung & Sanghan Lee) filmed my journey. Sometime in 2003, KBS released a documentary. Through that 2003 documentary, the movie company contacted me in 2005 to make a movie.
KIM: HOW CLOSE WAS THE MOVIE TO YOUR REAL EXPERIENCE?
BATES: It’s a movie not an autobiography. So the movie is NOT always accurate but a lot of “experience” were very close such as me going to military and while I was in the military, going to search for my parents.
KIM: WERE THERE ANY SCENES THAT PARTICULARLY TOUCHED YOU?
BATES: At the very end of movie where the hand is over the heart—I broke down and cried tears of joy and honor!
KIM: WHAT ABOUT YOUR ADOPTIVE PARENTS, HOW DID THEY REACT TO YOUR SEARCH AND THE MOVIE? HAVE THEY SEEN IT?
BATES: Due to my different “facial features,” my adopted parents have told me I was adopted since I was able to understand English. They’ve ALWAYS been supportive. So they were honored to know that my successful search became a movie. They enjoyed [the ﬁlm] so much they watched it twice in Korea and just recently again in the United States.
KIM: IF THERE’S ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE PEOPLE TO GET OUT OF THE FILM, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
BATES: Three things: 1) Regardless of the situation, praise God for everything! 2) Greatest gift God gave to all is that “Love conquers ALL and love never fails” and, 3) ADOPTION reaps more blessings than one can really comprehend – adoption works!