Showing posts with label Yang Yonghi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yang Yonghi. Show all posts

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sona, mo hitori no watashi (Sona, the other Myself by Yang Yonghi, Japan/Republik Korea: 2010

A friend of mine once translated for me a line from a song by the Bengali singer Musoumi Bhowmik about the city Kolkata:
"This city has a lot of wounds.
Some you can see, others not."
If I were writing a song about this film I probably would begin with similar lines except the fact that this film is not dealing with one concrete city but with a piece of world consisting of two cities and a family.

The idea of the "camera stylo", making films like we write and where the filmmaker tells about him/herself in the first person - there are few films which evoke in me this special term but the films by Yang Yonghi.
Despite the awareness that even the very personal films by Yang Yonghi are "made" the obvious impressing aspect for me is the montage which intensifies seemingly banal every day moments. But the knowledge that even this film is "made" steps always behind the intensity of these every day moments. The improvised video recordings of the family´s travels to Pyongyang are moving for me. They may appear banal but the more often I see this film the more weight they get.

A birthday party, a death anniversary celebration dedicated to the late sister in law, Yangs little niece and images of streets and buildings of the cities Osaka and Pyongyang in different times are condensed to an image of a human life. These pieces of conserved life times are sometimes interrupted by photographs which seem to be "taken out of time" and which make the film images appear even more fragile more mortal. They resemble millions of family albums, the album of my own family included. Yet they seem to me like pure poetry Even though Yang began shooting on video in the 90s, the photographs give hints to the lifetimes of the people you don´t see through the recorded film. Yang who is here (different like in her previous film Dear Pyongyang) not only visible on photographs in different periods of her life but also in the film itself, reminds me in a sentence from the film 2 Rue de la Memoire by the Chilean filmmaker Marilu Mallet whose work is another example of "camera stylo": "I see in you the girl you once were and the woman you became."

The traumatic separation of Yang from her brothers who were sent by their father in their teen ages to Pyongyang is on one hand the result of the historic partition of Korea. But here it is concretized on the echo which it left on this family. This historic partition is continued in the partition of Koreans living in Japan split between followers of North and followers of South Korea. Then finally it is concretized on this family where one part is living in Osaka and the other in Pyongyang. Beside others the film tells also about what the south indian director Kumar Shahani said about the Bengali director Ritwik Ghatak whose films tell in a very different way than Yang about the partition of his own country:
"Ghatak films does n´t deal only with geographic partition but also with the partition which goes through the bodies and souls."
Dear Pyongyang has told about the partition which goes through the souls of the people. Sona, mo hitori no watashi is more telling about the result of this partition on the filmmaker herself.
When she talks about her uncomfortable feelings while attending the propaganda spectacles in stadions or theatres in North Korea than it is not a political statement but an expression of the pain of an individual who suffers under history in a very every day sense.

Once we see Yang at her own birthday party in Pyongyang where the whole family is reunited for a short while.
When she films her father and mother in Osaka she remains invisible.
She is the individual who tries to bring order in her story . In other moments she is a visible protagonist of the story. This Look to the world and being at the same time part of it meets in an uncanny way the feeling I have for the film. The tenderness in her gaze towards her niece Sona (whom we see in different periods from a small baby child to an adolescent) is at the same time a view on her own past which is suggested in the title "the other Myself". Once we see the little Sona walking with Yangs brother through the streets of Pyongyang. From the off she comments that this moment is like a deja vu for her, she sees herself with her brothers walking.

I have to think of the creature of Frankenstein in Mary W. Shelleys novel which watches a family from a hidden and safe place. It is moved by the family´s story and is almost dying for love and compassion but will never dare to leave this hidden place for presenting itself. While I see this films, I sometimes feels like this creature. My experience with this film and the reaction between what I see and what it evokes in me I tried to conserve as long as possible. I was only satisfied when I could talk with someone about this film. I told about this film like about a long travel I made and from that I didn´t really return yet.

There is a scene which tells something about the attitude of the film like as well about the tension between the longing for closeness and the awareness of foreignness. Here might be a meeting point of the cinematic view of Yang Yonghi and mine the spectator´s. The title "the other Myself" suggests already identification and recognition through the view on someone else. Yangs gaze on her niece Sona goes together with her childhood memories. She sees in Sona the child she once was. In this scene the filmmaker accompanies the little Sona to her school. When they arrive at the school yard we see other children who look into the camera. They are shy and curious at the same time. When Sona disappears into the school building she eludes herself from our (and Yangs eyes) and we hear the filmmaker´s commentary. She says that Sona now "returns from the exceptional situation of her (Yangs) visit into her own reality." She can´t follow her with her camera any further. This scene has for me to do with the imerging into the micro cosmos of the family Yang with this strange closeness the film evokes in me and the awareness that this is exactly a temporary privilege.

The day before I saw Sona, Mo hitori no watashi for the third time I tried to get distracted from the strange attraction Yangs film has on me by the film The Thin Red Line, a masterpiece by Terrence Malick. I just wanted to be occupied by something different. But soon after the first 10 minutes from Malicks film I recognized that the impact of this obvious different film on me has to do with the one Yangs film had on me. I look through the gigantic technical apparatus and all the many hints of cultural and art historic aspects often described in essays on Malick - and what remains is a vulnerable and delicate glance which leads me back to Yangs one. My attempt to distract myself from Yangs film failed. Both films react now in my mind which each other and amplify the impact of the each other. I am not even sure if this impact is just my personal affair or if there are independent from each other accidental similarities in the poetry of images and spoken language.
And there is also the "one big soul" of what one person in Malick´s film is reflecting in a monologue "the one of where everybody is part of". This idea which goes through The Thin Red Line recalls in me the Berlin Filmfestival 2006 where significantly two faces were burnt into my mind from one film by Yang and one by Malick. These faces are in my memory almost coalesced with each other. The first one was a youth picture of Yang Yonghi from Dear Pyongyang from the time when she first visited her brothers in Pyongyang. In this photograph we can see that she cried before. The second one is the face of a likely young girl, the actress Q´Orianka Kilcher as Pocahontas in Malicks The New World just after she is expelled from her native tribe. The first image is a conservation of a real felt and lived moment the other one is an image created out of imagination. These pictures are standing for me for my feelings for these films.

While seeing Sona, Mo hitori no watashi the third time, the impact on me was even more intense. The death of the eldest brother who suffered since the separation from his parents and sister under maniac depressions and the serious ill father (about whose death in November 2009 Yang informs us) let fail every attempt of mine to keep distance from these images which are not mine. I tried convulsive to keep the leftover of my self control for not beginning to cry aloud.

Does Sona, mo hitori no watashi evokes in me this closeness to a foreign life or is this film the closeness itself? What is this films which burns into my memory. Where ends the film by Yang Yonghi and where begins my memory to deal with own images? Is this film the essence of a human life or maybe only Yangs interpretation of her life, composed of a variety of decisions for every single shot for every single image?
The only thing I know for sure is that I am stunned.

I have to think again in Malick´s The Thin Red Line, because like in Sona, mo hitori no watashi there is in the last image of Malic s film a hint to the paradise that the men alreadyhave lost forever.
It is the birthday party of Yang Yonghi with her family in Pyongyang. There is black out. After she has blown out her birthday candles Sona expresses her wish that she (Yang) may never forget this moment of fading luck. In her off-commentary Yang resumes how rare these reunions of the whole family are. The last scene gives a hint to this moment of happiness, a small paradise which now exist only in memories.
The eldest brother and her father have passed away. After the release of her previous film Dear Pyongyang, Yang is banned from travelling to North Korea. The only thing what is left to her is to detain this moment with a device of the montage. This moment contrasts to the very last image of the film, a recorded photograph of her he how she turns herself to her sick father in his bed while her voice from the off tells us about his death. This image is closeness and distance at the same time. For some seconds I believed to fell how she felt in this very moment. At the same time this image appears to me as universal an image about our loneliness in the moment of mourning. The film which deals always again with farewells and separations prepares itself to its own farewell.

Always when I am looking for words which shall describe the impact a film like Sona, mo hitori no watashi has on me I have to think in the sentence of the "one big soul" from The Thin Red Line which has to do with identification and recognition. And I think of the last lines from The Thin Red Line from a poetic monologue which goes under my skin like the films by Yang Yonghi.

"Oh my soul,
let me be in you now.
Look out through my eyes.
Look out through the things you made.
All things shining."

Rüdiger Tomczak

(Translation from the original German text in shomingeki No. 22, 2010)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Once again Yang Yonghi´s KAZOKU NO KUNI Berlin Filmfest IX.


"Do you allow the song to sing you or do you try to sing the song" (Greil Marcus on Van Morrison´s "Madame George" in "When that rough god goes riding"

As I watched  KAZOKU NO KUNI the third time yesterday evening   - this time with pen and paper -  I was thinking again what makes the films by Yang Yonghi so special. It is relatively easy for me to express why I feel so connected with these films, why I identify so much with her films. But I am occupied at the same time with these feelings the films evoke in me as with the thoughts about cinema they evoke in me also.
Let´s call KAZOKU NO KUNI Yang Yonghi´s "project Q", her first attempt to work with fictional-elements.
When I was younger - and obviously more dogmatic - I really believed there are something like holy laws of film making. Ozu (whom I still love and adore), Bresson or Straub/Huillet were a kind of manifest and documentaries were not allowed to be far away from Peter Nestler (whom I considered long time as the Holy Grail of documentary film). With Ritwik Ghatak, Shaan Khattau, Marilu Mallet and recently Terrence Malick I learned there are no sacred laws of cinema, every one (Ozu included) re-invents for him/herself cinema.

Some people  who have read my text on SONA; THE OTHER MYSELF mind have felt  estranged by this strange comparison between Yang and Malick. While seeing DEAR PYONGYANG I thought of the first films made by the Lumiére Brothers and now while seeing KAZOKU NO KUNI, I felt the reservoir of thousand of possibilities to make (archived in the history of cinema) films are still fresh  possibilities  for Yang. Let´s face it - it the majority of filmmakers today , including some very talented are quite unable to deal with the enormous options of the nearly 120 years old history of films. There is nearly nothing which wasn´ t already told, nearly no technique which wasn´t  used. While too much (masters like Hou Hsiao Hsien, Abbas Kiarostami included) are too much worried about repeating themselves or things which were already done in cinema, films like the ones by Yang Yonghi are extremely refreshing unprejudiced, authentic until the bones and beyond. In KAZOKU NO KUNI, there is a kind of minimalistic approach with long shots filmed with handhold camera. Even more: As Yang is (even though mostly invisible) the main character in her first two documentaries and even physical present like Chaplin in almost all his films, KAZOKU NO KUNI is a completely new approach for her. Not only that the "mise en scene" replaces here the montage, but also her working with actors/actresses. Most of them are even non-Koreans. It is also important hat KAZOKU NO KUNI is her first film where her camera work is replaced by a director of photography.

I still remember the first press screening of SONA, 2 years ago which I attended with one of my contributors. He found "that film nice" but doubted if she (Yang) will ever be able to go beyond her family story) I said if she will make until the rest of her life films like DEAR PYONGYANG or SONA, I will be fine with it.  As a matter of fact these "little home movies" reveal more inspiration, imagination than a lot of Brecht -, and Bresson educated filmmakers who  don´t even dare to dream of such an inspiration. As microscopic her view seems in its context of Korean history into the micro cosmos of the Yang family, her films are not less exciting than Hou Hsiao hsiens Taiwan trilogy or Ghataks refugee-trilogy. 

The minimalistic approach of KAZOKU NO KUNI seems to me almost a necessary reaction on her extremely moving, heartbreaking and stirring SONA, THE OTHER MYSELF. SONA… ended with a photograph (Yang and her very sick father ( a picture as moving like the Aria "Have mercy, oh Lord) from Johann Sebastian Bach´s St. Mathews Passion)  and a daring flashback (after her father and brother passed away) to a happy moment with her family in Pyongyang. If DEAR PYONGYANG was the daring experiment, an approach of "camera stylo", SONA (often misunderstood as a sequel of DEAR P…) was the final poetic achievement of her "song about Herself". To continue in this form of an essay-like, explicit autobiographical form was impossible at least for a while. Not, that I ever can imagine to be bored by Yang Yonghi, But  for her sake. her surviving mentally and probably physically, the step to KAZOKU NO KUNI in this case to replace her own body with an avatar in form of actress Sakura Ando was a compelling necessity.The same with replacing her own camara work through a director of photography (her camera work was in her first two films more or less like an invisble protagonist.
I am sure Ritwik Ghatak this "Super Nova" of Indian cinema  didn´t die with 50 only because of alcoholism and TB sheets, but also about his lack of ability to deal with the enormous power of his passion and his trauma, especially after his finest film SUBARNAREKHA.  There are many other examples where famous directors reached the limit of what they can bear mentally and physically.

Only on the surface the emotions in KAZOKU NO KUNI are reserved,  - even oppressed sometimes. They find their expression in pure physical actions. After Rie has expressed her anger and hate against the "watchman" from Northern Korea, who controls every step of her brother in Japan, she walks several circuits, like a depressed and disturbed animal prisoned in a zoo. When the characters have to fight with their anger, despair and at the same time with the necessity to control themselves, they are close to blast. The brother´s confrontation with his ignorant father who has sent him to North Korea,  he tremors and shivers his heart out. The characters in Yang´s first feature films are close to the characters in Ghatak´s trilogy, they bump their heads against a wall and when they realize there is a wall, they bump again and again. This wall is perceptible in KAZOKU NO KUNI like a gravitation field. The emotions between the characters: Father-daughter, brother father, the tenderness between sister and brother, brother and his lover, the brother and his homosexual schoolmate in this ordinary and concrete family story have in such moments the power of cosmic processes. You feel the heat of mental furnaces under the surface of the characters, a heat which can burn us, the filmmaker and me at the same time.         
It belongs together, my very personal passion and even obsession for the films by Yang Yonghi, especially this subject "family" but as well the fact these films (three different but equally powerful works) remind me in the matter we all are existing of atoms produced in a gigantic star before its blast.

There is still much more to say about this film, a film you can access from different sides and obviously a Korean especially one who lives in Japan will have a different perspective. Once could write a long text on the presence of human bodies in this film, how Yang uses the space like the narrow apartment rooms or the outside locations. One can think about how she works here with time. In KAZOKU NO KUNI there is no jumping back in time forwards and backwards, but small moments where you see the protagonist´s lived or not lived past shines through the present images. One small but subtle moment is when Sonho walks to his parent´t s house. He walks like in a dream, because he hasn´t seen this environment for 25 years. The camera is often moved, sometimes slow and subtle sometimes moved with the characters running or hasting. Nothing is stable, everything is in movement.
One can think about how Yang forces here the dialogue and the silence and so on. And you never will be finished or tired to see the film again.
When I was much younger and in a kind very dogmatic I thought that identification and reflection are opposites, like Illusion and reality.  You can reflect about the Korean history in Yang Yonghi´s films but I doubt it  this possible without having felt it first through the intensity of her films. 

If you remember the long introduction from DEAR PYONGYANG about the "North Koreans" living in Japan, "returning" to their homeland. she gives a brief historical overview.
First gesture:" This is the story of my people, my history." (specified in Koreans living in Japan) than as she describes how thousands of families, parents and little girls take farewell from their brothers "returning" to the "homeland" - Some of them with tears in their eyes. "One of this girls was me". Than the gesture is:  "This film is about me as a part of my people and their history." 

There is scene of a class reunion with Sonha and his friends he hasn´t seen for 25 years. In one moment (it is forbidden to Sonha to sing Japanese songs) one of his friends take the guitar and sing a very nostalgic love , Sonha loved once. First he is silent than he sings along, the others stop singing. We never know what he is thinking, feeling, but the song as a memory in the lost love of his youth  gives us a small idea.  Yang Yonghi does not only reinvent her own cinema, she also wins back a lot of the beauty and glory cinema has lost.  On the other hand - how Yang Yonghi deals with all the problems and questions about making a documentary or a fictive film seems to me on the highest level I can imagine. All her three films doesn´t seem to have a volitional form. She has found a suitable aesthetic form for all her films by her incredible instict. There are films  like KAZOKU NO KUNI which stay with me forever until my very last breath. 
Ritwik Ghatak once said: "Before art shall be beautiful it must be true." I think there is no better description for the authenticity of the films by Yang Yonghi.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Notes on Our Homeland by Yang Yonghi (International Forum /Berlin Filmfest 2012 II.

for Thérese Gonzalez, Florence MC Nguyen, Shaheen Dill-Riaz and my sister Barbara Lürenbaum

"I am burning, everything is burning, the whole universe is burning." (Ritwik Ghatak, 1925 - 1976)

There are films and filmmakers you discover - if by luck, accident or as a result of your search for them. But there are also films which discover you - more: they hit you in the middle of your heart and there is nothing you can do about. Their "content" can be alien to you like for example the story of a Korean family living in Japan, the partition of Korea or  even the probably very asian tension between individuality and parental love like in the films by Yang Yonghi.

OUR HOMELAND is the third film and the first narrative one by Yang Yonghi. Her first two films were documentaries, essays and explicit autobiographical films about her family and herself but they are also  microscopic views on the history of the partition of Korea which is evident in the most intimate space of one family among many who live in Japan.

Like Ozu once said, there is no grammar of film, each good film establishes its own grammar. It doesn´t mind if you are North, - or South Korean, Asian, American or European like me. You can be from the most engrossed corner of this planet, the films by Yang Yonghi hit with you with a natural power unless you are blind for this power and the beauty of these films.
Do we have forgotten that Chaplin was as popular in Japan or India like he was in America or or Europe. Or have we forgotten the the greatest french director Jean Renoir found his roots neither in France nor in the USA during his emigration but i faraway India during making his masterpiece THE RIVER?

French writer and filmmaker Marguerite Duras once wrote about Chaplin that he was able to perform the masses. In a kind Yang Yonghi even though rooted in a very concrete historical and cultural context approached a very similar universality. She forces us to ask ourselves where we come from. She doesn´t just PERFORM for us her story or her "Songs about Herself". She SHARES her story, if in the most daring and experimental home movie ever made DEAR PYONGYANG, in this strange heartbreaking docudrama SONA, THE OTHER MYSELF (now renamed to GOODBYE PYONGYANG) or in her first fiction film KAZOKU NO KUNI (Our Homeland.
If you have seen her first two films you immediately recognize in the dialogues some documented sentences from her documentaries. The separation of Yang Yonghi´s family is a cemented fact.
History has stolen the family in OUR HOMELAND 25 years and 25 years of life time they will never get back. It is as lost like stellar matter swallowed by a black hole.
The sister, the parents, the uncle, the class mates or the lover who missed the brother, son, nephew, friend or lover for 25 years  - all have to deal with lost time. There remains this hole of life time. The true magic of OUR HOMELAND lies in the paradox. We know as all the characters of the films are aware of -  that the time the family and the lovers are missing  is lost forever. But in some images there is an echo, an idea of a longing for a life, no one has been able to live.
It can be sensed in the incredible beautiful scene of a reunion with the brother, who returns after 25 years to Japan (for medical treatment with a special permission by the authorities in North Korea) with his school mates and his former love.  An old love song is a bittersweet reflex of a romance which is buried under the weight of 25 years. A last meeting with the brother and the love of his youth. Both are married to different partners. The separation will be final. They walk through an idyllic landscape. For a fleeting moment we realize in all its power the happiness which really never took place. The film celebrates this moments as long as possible.
There are things in this film you can describe and things you can´t. There are lapses of silence in this film between the dialogues. When the pain has no words, the bodies of these excellent actors are cramping themselves, they are beginning to dither. It often seems they are close to blast.

As we know cinema is a result of the mechanism of a camera and its ability to betray the human eye, the films by Yang Yonghi remind us rather in a human body and a soul than in this technical phenomenon of the moving image. It seems we learn rather to trust this strong and also vulnerable body and soul than the cold perfection of the cinematic device. As she said in an interview from 2007, "when she began to film her family, she began to consider the camera not as a machine which records but as a part of her body".

I don´t know really what is happening with me when I see the films by Yang Yonghi. I knew I am confronted with a piece of history from another country, another culture. But I am still under schlock how deep these films are moving me.
In  DEAR PYONGYANG I felt like seeing my mother the second time dying.
In SONA, THE OTHER MYSELF (now: Goodbye Pyongyang), I realized a strange love and affection to my own family I buried for a long time in my heart.
In OUR HOMELAND, Yang Yonghi´s "Search for the lost time"  seems to be at the same time a poet, a chronicler of her own story but also a scientist who re-constructs a situation she experienced for approaching a better understanding of her own story. We witness both, her growing of her understanding of her story while making this film as our growing of understanding while seeing this film.
In his "Search for the lost Time", Marcel Proust wrote: " We don´t  approach happiness but we get an awareness about the reasons which avoid us to be."
If I was´nt clear enough to express why my heart is burning from the films by Yang Yonghi there is nothing I can do about it. I made a strange journey with these films and the only thing I know, they brought me back home via the way around Japan and North Korea.

text on DEAR PYONGYANG by Yang Yonghi are here.

part two of the text on this film can be found here

Next screenings at the Berlin Filmfestival: February 14, Cinemaxx 4, 21.45, February 17, Cubix 9, 20.00. Theatrical release in Japan will be August 2012 and only the heaven knows when it will be available on DVD or through theatrical releases in other countries.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Provisorily translation of a text on DEAR PYONGYANG

by Yang Yonghi, Japan: 2005 (International Forum)

(shomingeki No. 18, October 2006)

Another film I can´t get out of my mind, Dear Pyongyang by Yang Yonghi.
This film reminds me in some films which are in its reduction of the image-making gadget and in its transparency it is winning intensity through the lack of a big distance between the vulnerable individual who films and the spectator. 

It is the story of the filmmaker which begins with a historical introduction on Koreans living in Japan. After the Korean civil war, this comunity is divided in followers who identify themselves as North Koreans and those who consider South Korea as their homeland. Encouraged through the economical growth in North Korea, a lot of "North Koreans" living in Japan went to Northkorea, or in other words "returned". Yangs father sent his three adolescent sons to Pyongyang. They can be visited there but they can never leave the country.

The film is now focusing completely on Yangs family where history occurs in small details of an average family and finally about Yang Yong-hi herself. Since he was a young man, Yangs father remained a communistic activist and whenever he talks about Northkorea, he talks about a mythic paradise. The films presents every day situations and the travels of the family to the now adult sons.
The filmmaker (we learn from her off-commentary) was for a long time trying to lead a different life, without serving her "homeland" unconditionally.
The long conversations between her and her father are seemingly banal at the first sight, sometimes even funny. But after some time we feel the drama beneath the surface of seemingly harmless little quarrels between father and daughter. The first impact arrives when Yang interrupts these long conversations with a serial of shots of family photographs. On one of these photographs, we see the very young Yang Yonghi beside her brothers during her first visit in Pyongyang. Her face looks sad and she must have cried. The separation from her brothers must have meant to her a very traumatic experience. She can´t even talk in the off-commentary about all what moved her. The traditional parental love and her worries about the brothers who live in a country where every small contact with outside is observed with mistrust hemmed in her a more open rebellion. There is also the fear of lack of love when she doesn´t conform the expectations of her parents.

When I saw the film the first two times, it took place in closed press screenings. Just the third time, I saw this film in an open Berlinale-screening. At the beginning I still found the small quarrels between her and her father amusing.
While seeing the film third time, I could not laugh anymore.

Except her hands we see Yang Yonghi only on children- and youth photographs and listen to her voice. Everything we see, we see through her eyes. For me, the leaps through time forth and backwards seem the essential accents which gives the film a kind of poetry. It seems to me the aesthetical form of some one who tries to tell about herself on different levels what is difficult to put in only in words.
This kind of insight into the intimate sphere of a family which doesn´t work for me in every documentary, evokes the feeling that someone tells us confidential things. The film develops an unique drama between her discomfort not to fit in her parents expectations in her commentary contrasts with her fine observations of her family every day life. Yang is part of this family and at the same time an outsider.

A sudden cut and we see a hospital. Yangs father has suffered under a heavy stroke. There is an intense moment of helplessness which is burnt into my memory. Yang Yonghi goes wit the camera to her father´s bed whose body is connected with tubes and lines to medical machines. It looks bad for him. He is totally defenceless exposed to her daughter´s views and ours. At the same time we know through the film that the father made decisions (even without bad intention) under which her daughter suffered a lot. Then she holds with one hand her fathers hands while his voice makes uncomrehensibles noises and at the same time her other hand serves the the small video camera. When I saw the film the first time, I wasn´t sure if someone should get as far. But nevertheless this moment moved me deeply.
This moment is very close to the undefinable feeling to be left alone with a personal sad event, like I experienced on that terrible day in 1997 when I visited my seriously sick mother at the emergency station of a hospital in my hometown Bochum. The feeling of discomfort about the power parents had at least for a special period in our lives is contrasted with the helpless fragile body of the father. What makes this scene even harder to bear is that the filmmaker is exposed too even if we see only her hands. I even think, I heard her crying, but I don´t know for sure.
I don´t know anything at all anymore.
I forgot the big screen and the seat where I was sitting. I was totally divided in the terrible memory of my mother and the awareness that here in this recorded moment, the invisible filmmaker Yang Yong-hi experienced one of the most terrible moments of her life. Because of the fact we can´t see her face, in my imagination she is metamorphosed back into the sad young girl which we saw on a photograph.

 Rüdiger Tomczak

an english text on Yang´s second film is here