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Habitual Sadness

Director: Byun Young-joo
Script: Lee Jeong-rei
Photography: Kim Yong-taek
Editing: Park Gok-ji
Sound: Lee Yong-gil
Producer: Shin Myoung-hwa
Production Company: Docu Factory VISTA
Kogeum Bldg., 4th Fl. 1535-9, Seocho 3-dong
Seocho-gu, Seoul 137-073 KOREA
Phone: 82-2-597-5364 / Fax: 82-2-597-5365
Source: Pandora Co., Ltd.
Shofukuji Bldg., 2nd Floor
5-11 Shintomi 2 Chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0041 JAPAN
Phone: 81-3-3555-3987 / Fax: 81-3-3555-8709
KOREA / 1997 / Korean / Color 35mm (org. 16mm) / 71 min

Byun Young-joo

Born in 1966. After graduating from Ehwa Woman's University, studied Cinema at Jungang University Graduate School. Participated in Independent film productions, especially in women's film productions. Among her video works, Our Children and The Line Battle were screened at 1991 Yamagata Festival, and A Woman Being in Asia was screened at 1993 Yamagata Festival. Her first feature documentary on 16mm, Murmuring was screened as part of the New Asian Currents section of 1995 Yamagata Festival and awarded the Ogawa Shinsuke Prize.


Director's Statement

Habitual sadness. Why does sadness become habitual? These dear woman, harumoni, play a much more active role in this film than the one before. In casually pointing out certain scenes to be included, they decided on the content of the film even before I did. Their exaggerated acting some times embarrassed even myself. While intently watching these dear woman, I did not feel happiness but sadness. Like shackles binding their arms I felt this habitual sadness, and it wasn't just because I remembered the reality that they were hauled away and used as comfort woman by the Japanese Army.

As soon as Kang Dok-yung realized her lifetime was limited, she feared nothing more than being forgotten. Like many woman who have lived in silence for the past fifty years, the thing she feared most when she revealed to the world that she had been a comfort woman, was that the courage it had taken to give out her name when so frightened would be pushed aside and once again forgotten. It's her dream that in coming forth she could have an effect on the world.

Perhaps this is the source of the sadness we habitually feel in our daily lives as woman. Habitual Sadness is not my film. All I did was gather together what these woman wanted to show to world-their discussions and everyday lives. The one thing, however, that I would like to strongly emphasize is my determination of not to forget, perhaps unable to forget them. I think this determination is the only way that I can fulfill my gratitude, for these dear women that has given me the strength these past 5 years to learn about the world.


Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee