8th DMZ Docs(2016)
I AM DOCU
Samantha, a star-crossed singer-songwriter, lives alone in one of New Orleans' toughest neighborhoods. By day she works as a caregiver for the elderly; at night she transforms into Princess Shaw, belting out soulful originals at sparsely attended open mic nights and posting homemade a cappella clips on YouTube, usually reaching just a handful of viewers. She doesn't imagine that on the other side of the world, she has a talented secret admirer who is about to expose her to millions of listeners.
Two people living on the opposite side of the earth meet at the Youtube. One doesn’t know the other. Actually, both of them don’t know each other. Two never met before.
Samantha living in New Orleans. Kutiman living in Israel. An obscure singer Samantha never takes rests from uploading her own videos on Youtube under the name ‘Princess Shaw’. But her videos have been watched by only 83 people, it’s just an account for herself. One day, Kutiman heard Shaw singing. And then, this previously lonely voice becomes another new voice with Kutiman and finally led to actual meeting of two.
Here is a new music brought to the world by collaboration with ordinary people. They just uploaded their videos but never know who the others are. But these individuals gather to create a forest just like river branches flow toward the ocean which is amazing. The film shows power and beauty of variety as well as collective intelligence called collaboration with SNS. It is a hymn for the digital era.
Samantha, who cried for her loneliness before, now cries for happiness. “I can’t believe this. This rocks. This is awesome.” Right. Life is full of surprises and mysteries. After watching this documentary, you will also think that way. [Hong Jae-hui]
Enlistment Days (2012)9 Star Hotel (2008)Melting Siberia (2004) When I first started to work on Thru You Princess, I couldn’t stop thinking about some of my friends from film school—those who were the most original, bright and talented. Most of them are not making films and I was reminded how often there seems to be little correlation between talent and success.There are so many people with so much talent, original thinking and unique voices. Most of them weren't born with the ‘right cards in their hand’ and don't really have the access or ability to break into the often exclusive realms of music, art and culture. What are the chances that we will hear about them?Thru You Princess might propose some modest, momentary fix for that. It is not about stardom, but rather about the deeply human experience of being seen—an antidote to the loneliness and anonymity many can feel in a world that is constantly manufacturing new stars. But for me, above all, Kutiman, Princess and all the musicians who appear in the songs suggest a kind of Utopian path, where people from all over the world, especially those who are lacking representation and power, can share, create, express themselves, and maybe give a fight to the cruel, commercially oriented and unfair rules of the game that usually dominate in the worlds of music, art and culture today.