B-Side for Taylor is a heartfelt drama about an adopted Korean teen struggling to relate to her Caucasian father after the death of his wife and a Korean immigrant teen searching for acceptance by her parents in a new land. I spoke with B-Side for Taylor director Christina YR Lim about bringing her adapting her personal story to the big screen, the challenges of telling your story with very little money, and with a whole lot of support.
Tell me about the basic plot of B-Side for Taylor.
Christina YR Lim: B-Side for Taylor follows Taylor Wagner, a Korean-American adoptee who, a year after the sudden death of her adoptive mother, has grown desperate to connect with her birth family, especially since the loss has strained her relationship with her adoptive father. When a Korean family serendipitously immigrates to her all-white suburb, Taylor befriends a new maternal figure who helps her reconnect with her roots and search for her birth family’s whereabouts. But as they delve deeper, they discover an unforeseen truth about Taylor’s origins that threatens to break her already fragile bond with her father.
“…I feared my stepfather would mistake it as my questioning who he was in my life.”
How did the story of Taylor and Da-Young come about? I’m assuming you’re closely tied to the subject matter somehow?
Taylor’s story was inspired by my own experience of being raised by a Caucasian stepfather while being largely estranged from my Korean/birth father. In particular, I wanted to explore the complexities of surrogate parenthood, especially in a multicultural home, and delve into my formative years, where innate curiosities of my own identity and origins could no longer be ignored and had to be addressed. In my own journey, I felt an immense amount of guilt that conflicted with this curiosity because I feared my stepfather would mistake it as my questioning who he was in my life. This particular struggle was one that I focused on when writing Taylor’s story.
With Da-Young, I derived much of her journey from my own relationship with my mother growing up. As a child with creative dreams, I often clashed with my mother, who focused more on academics. But as I grew up, I came to understand that as an immigrant, much of her own struggles dealt with basic survival, and to her, academic achievements meant financial security. When I understood that she only wanted to save me from the struggles she had gone through, I was able to appreciate her way of expressing her love and care.