Passing Through | Chicago Reader

Passing Through

Korean-born Nathan Adolfson was given up for adoption as a child and raised by a Minnesota family, and his 1999 short video documents his trip to Inchon, South Korea, to be reunited with his siblings. When he arrives in Inchon with his video crew, he's greeted by his older sister and brothers—and by another video crew from a Korean TV network, shooting footage for an Oprah-like talk show on which he later appears. Adolfson was a film student at UCLA when he made the video, but he seems more like a flippant teenager, and the finished product capitalizes on his likeable personality at the expense of insight and genuine emotion. On the same program, Justin Lin's short video Crossover (1999) explores the history of the Japanese-American basketball leagues in California and the current debate over whether to open them to non-Asians; Lin jazzes up the talking-head format with graphics and fast-paced editing. And Mike Sakamoto's Secret Asian Man takes an amusing look at musician Arthur Nakane, a one-man band who does spot-on imitations of rock legends.


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