8th DMZ Docs(2016)
I AM DOCU
Yongwangung was a Gutdang(shaman’s shrine) where first generation Korean women who crossed the seas from Jeju to Japan even before the Second World War. In 2009, I heard that a shamanic shrine called Youngwanggung was about to be demolished by the Osaka city government.
My childhood memory of my mother praying in the kitchen came back when I was filming elderly women in Jeju. I felt the urge to have a shamanistic ritual for my mother who had been hospitalized.
Yongwanggung: Memories from Across the Water presents the story of a second-generation Korean-Japanese Kim Im-man, who looks for the history of his parents of the first-generation Korean-Japan. The story of his parents' generation that has lived suffering from the discrimination in Japan since they stow away on a boat to Japan after the Jeju 4·3 Incident. And the story of the director who had lived as a Japanese for a long time and questioned his Korean identity. Their stories begin in Osaka and continue in Jeju. He made plans for this film to resolve the resentment that his mother sick abed had, but he, in fact, wanted to know what is her mother's resentment. And his journey is set in the historical background, with the Japan's colonization and aggressive war, the Korea's Independence, the Korean War and its Division, the history of discrimination against Korean residents in Japan and their life. The story of the Korean-Japanese family that provides testimony to the loss of the nation and the non-national life and the director's significant confession approach to our memories with the big questions. The film touches us quietly yet so deeply by the journey of the director who carefully has reached out to reconcile with his parents' generation and with the world. I support, from the heart, the director who wanted to console his mother sincerely praying for your family every day. All is the fight for the memories. [Mun Jeong-hyun]
Give back Kama’s Right (2011) Since my siblings and I went to public school in Japan, we are unable to speak Korean. My mother did not have an opportunity to attend school either in Jeju or in Japan. She is unable to read or write in Korean or in Japanese. Try as I might, I cannot remember in what language she told stories to me when I was a child. Was it in Japanse? Or was it in Korean? Perhaps I cannot remember perhaps becausee today I think in Japanse.When I was twenty, I became conscious of Korean as my national language(mother’s nation’s language) even though it is a language other than Japanese and foreign to me. The first Korean word I heard other than greetings was my name. It was the first language that went beyond the boundary I unconsciously walled myself in. My name was foreign to me. I realized how my name sounded in my ‘mother’s nation’s language’. I was stupefied by the strange sound reverberated. How did I not know it! Japanese as a language is a mother tongue, but it is not a mother’s nation’s language. The first language I uttered is undoubtedly Japanese. This is certainly not the case for my mother. My mother’s mother tongue is for me a mother’s nation’s language. The entanglement between mother’s language and mother tongue is the boundary between my parents and me. The language is the boundary.When did I start to become conscious of the boundary made by the language? I write thus in Japanese, think in Japanese, speak in Japanese, hear in Japanese, and answer in Japanese. I bought a camera to liberate myself and push myself to go beyond the boundary.Going across the ocean and the generational divide, we translate between the entangled ‘mother tongue’ and the ‘second language.’ Moreover, we need to go across the boundary between “those who expose and those who are exposed” in the words of the great zainichi poet Kim Sijong, to reconcile with one another. I had no choice but to restart filming Memory of Youngwanggung after several failures and suspensions.
Contribution / World Sales Doyoung