Chain of Amber is the fascinating autobiography of Jennifer’s Grandmother, Mary Linley Taylor. Launched in 2015, Jennifer created a production company in her ongoing quest to bring the story to life on the big screen. There have been two documentary films already created, and now Jennifer is working on writing a treatment for a feature film based on Chain of Amber.
In 2005, Jennifer contacted the Korean Embassy in San Francisco seeking to make connections with interested producers and filmmakers in Seoul. This resulted in the production of two documentaries. The first documentary was based on a few important historical events discovered in Chain of Amber by Producer Stanley Kim of Indecom Cinema in Seoul. These events were subsequently fact-checked and determined to be true. This inspired further research and the eventual filming of Father’s Country. This documentary was produced to celebrate Independence Day in Korea, and to honor the Taylor family’s involvement in the historic events surrounding that day. It was first aired on the 1st of March in 2006 on Korean television and premiered in the US at the Mendocino Film Festival later that year.
In 2012, the Taylor family was contacted by Producer Mijin Lee of BASSIM Pictures, Seoul, Korea. After the airing of Father’s Country, interest grew around the rediscovery of Albert and Mary Taylor’s house, ‘Dilkusha’ in Seoul and the fact that it was still standing 100 years after it was built by Jennifer’s Grandfather. Mijin wanted to produce a documentary about the house. So once again a film crew made their way from Seoul to Mendocino to interview the Taylor family. After the TV airing of the resulting documentary, Mr. Taylor’s House, Mary Linley Taylor’s book, Chain of Amber was translated into Korean.
“I’m writing this letter in appreciation of the Taylors’ contribution to Korea. My name is Tae-Hun Kim from Seoul. My mother and I watched the documentary about your family that was nationally televised on March 1st. My mother and I were deeply moved; we shed tears. The history books we read in school talk about Western people in Korea during the Japanese occupation. We learn that an AP reporter and a Canadian missionary reported the massacre in Suwon to western society, however, I did not know who they were and about their stories, so it was good to learn about the Taylor family. It was the most beautiful and touching story I have ever known. As a Korean I can’t thank you enough. God bless the Taylor family.”
Father’s Country is a Korean television documentary filmed in Mendocino, California and Seoul, Korea. It was produced in celebration of Korea’s March 1st Independence Day, and in honor of the role that Jennifer’s Grandfather, her Father, and his birth played in this important part of Korea’s history.
In the documentary, Mendocino, California residents Bruce, Joyce, and Jennifer Taylor, voyage to Seoul, where they revisit 45 years of family history as described in Mary Linley Taylor’s autobiography, Chain of Amber.
The grand family home built in Seoul by Albert and Mary Taylor in 1923 and named Dilkusha, (Palace of Hearts Delight), is also featured in a documentary called Mr. Taylor’s House, produced by Mijin Lee & Bassim Pictures.
Mr. Taylor’s House, is the story of a western-style house built in the center of Seoul in 1923. Once amongst acres of beautiful lawns and gardens, and now densely surrounded by city buildings. The story is told from the viewpoint of the house itself, as it follows the lives of its residents – past and present, set against the backdrop of Korea’s dramatic history.
Albert Taylor and his wife, celebrated artist and author, Mary Linley Taylor, built this once-grand home and named it Dilkusha, meaning ‘palace of heart’s delight.’ The Taylor family’s years in Dilkusha are described in Mary’s book, Chain of Amber.
Son of Albert and Mary, Bruce Tickell Taylor, along with his wife, Joyce, and daughter Jennifer are highlighted in the documentary, along with citizens of Seoul who still call Dilkusha home.
Dilkusha is also featured in the Korean Television documentary Father’s Country produced by Stanley Kim and directed by Sang-il Jang.
“In 1392, a new dynasty established by a military coup revived the name Chosun 조선, 朝鮮. The hanja were often translated into English as ‘morning calm / sun’ and Korea’s nickname became ‘The Land of the Morning Calm.’ This early morning calm would come quickly to Jennifer during her stay in Seoul and the filming of the documentary ‘Father’s Country.’ It was then that she would awake before daybreak, and write about the discovery of her family’s history as it unfolded in front of her daily. Her blog and recounting of this time in her life is remarkably well written and vividly told.”