14th DMZ Docs(2022)
I AM DOCU
As the novel 『LimGeojeong』 becomes a great success, the publisher and the writer's bereaved family in North Korea meet to solve the copyright problem. Their exchanges between South and North Korea create another novel-like story that condenses issues in various fields including politics, economy, and culture together with concerns and hospitality.
The film is a short documentary in which director Kang Sang-woo, who made Kim-Gun(2018), looks over the back story of Hong Myung-hee's novel LimGeojeong at the request of Sakyejul, a publishing house celebrating its 40th anniversary. It describes the planning and publication of this monumental novel, how it became a staple in an unexpected way, and the process of solving the copyright issues with the novelist's bereaved family in North Korea. Contrary to the publisher's concern, the response of the North Korean bereaved family to the theft without the author's permission was worth considering as fraternity, but that doesn't tell the whole story of the film's subject. For example, the director imaginatively describes the process of meeting and discussing between South Korean publishers and the North Korean bereaved family, with the physical properties of the novel LimGeojeong (the cover and inside image of the book) and a mechanical sound montage. Pay Off talks about the relationship between politics, business, and culture that drifts unresolved through the mediation of copyright fees that have not yet been “pay off”.
Kang creates works going back and forth between fiction and documentaries. His first feature documentary, Kim-Gun(2018), won the Prize at Seoul Independent Film Festival and Muju Film Festival.