Saving a Dragonfly

KOREA / 2022 / Korean / Color / Digital File / 80 min

- Director, Script, Photography, Editing, Sound: Hong Da-ye
Source: Hong Da-ye

The director, in her last year of high school, films herself and her friends as they face the CSAT (College Scholastic Ability Test). Failing the exam and preparing to retake it, the once-held belief that getting into college could change everything . . . Yet passage of time and shifts in circumstance alter nothing. Before she knows it the director is pushing herself into a corner, from the exhaustion of living with daily anxiety. Slight setbacks cause massive emotional breakdowns among her friends, and at times people get hurt. Even so, she tenaciously continues filming for eight long years and completes the film. They are saved by their genuine solidarity, which emanates from the screen. (SA)

[Director’s Statement] Throughout our lives, we have been constantly reminded that we would transform into butterflies as we become adults. We were led to believe that adolescence was merely a pupal stage, where all our dreams and hopes would take flight upon metamorphosis. However, my friends and I didn’t quite experience that butterfly-like transformation. Instead, we found ourselves undergoing a different kind of growth, akin to a dragonfly that, unlike the complete metamorphosis of a butterfly, only changes in size as it matures.

- Hong Da-ye

A young documentary director from Korea. She started filming documentaries in high school, spotlighting education issues in her first film. This is her first feature, begun in 2014 when she was a high school senior, and wrapping in 2022 as her college graduation film. The film offers a unique take on a coming of age story. Da-ye firmly believes that the essence of documentary truth resides within the emotions of its subjects.