The Knockturnal sat down with Justin Chon to talk about the new drama he directed and stars in, ‘Blue Bayou’.
Chon plays Antonio LeBlanc, a Korean adoptee raised in a small town in the Louisiana bayou who faces deportation as he struggles to build a better life for his wife, played by Oscar winner Alicia Vikander, and family.
‘I’m friends with quite a few adoptees and I started to hear that this issue was taking place and I dug into it a little more and I found out a lot of these cases are irreversible once the deportation order is given,’ Chon said of his inspiration for the film. ‘I was shocked. I think it’s incredibly cruel and unjust when the government allows a legal adoption for a child to be brought overseas to U.S. citizens, then as an adult decide they are no longer citizens due to a loophole in paperwork. It’s cruel.
‘My heart bled for the community and I really wanted to use my platform to shine a light on this issue and try my attempt at portraying some version of the adoptee experience.’
Chon said he did extensive research for the film by reading articles and finding adoptees who were deported. He said he found there were many things they had in common.
‘Adoption a lot of times is a story told through rose-colored glasses. You don’t necessarily hear the times it doesn’t work out or where they’re given up,’ he added.
Chon explores the issues of identity for many adoptees in the film, and said that most importantly he ‘just wanted to tell the story of a real human being.’
‘Blue Bayou’ hits theaters Friday, September 17.