/ 1999 / Korean / Color / 35mm (1:1.33) / 77min
Director: Byun Young - joo
Photography: Byun Young - joo, Han Chong - gu
Script: Ahn So - hyun
Editing: Park Gok - ji
Sound: Kim Woon - young
Producer: Shin Hye - eun
Source: Pandora Co., Ltd.
Production Company: Docu - Factory VISTA
Kogeum B/D4F, 1535 - 9 Seocho - 3 - dong
Seocho - gu, Seoul 137 - 073 KOREA
Phone: 82 -2 -597 -5354 / Fax: 82 -2 -597 -5365
Young - joo
Born in 1966. After graduating Ewha Women's University, did graduate
studies in film at Jungang University. Independent filmmaker, helping
to build a women - based filmmaking movement. Her video works Our
Children and The Line of Battle were showed at YIDFF '
91, and A Woman Being in Asia was screened at YIDFF ' 93. Her
film Murmuring won the Ogawa Shinsuke Prize in New Asian Currents
' 95. Habitual Sadness was a Special Invitation Film at YIDFF
' 97 and was an Official Selection at the Berlin International Film
Festival in 1998. My Own Breathing was completed in 1999. Murmuring
and Habitual Sadness have enjoyed many screenings first in
Asia and Australia and then throughout the world.
Yi Yongsoo, who
now lives in Taegu, was 16 when she was taken by the Japanese Military
as a sex slave to Taiwan, where she spent three years during World
War II. She is now energetically engaged in activities to bring proper
punishment to and receive compensation from those responsible for
the crimes. While comforting fellow victims, who are worn out mentally
and physically, she convinces them to give testimony in order to keep
memory alive. Kim Yoonshim, who recently won the Cheon Taeil Literary
Award (a labor literary award) for her writing based on her diary,
was 13 when she was taken to Harbin, China. When she found out that
her daughter was born with a hearing disability due to the syphilis
she contracted at that time, she left home secretly and raised her
daughter by herself. Despite the fact that she takes part in a demonstration
every Wednesday and gives testimony around the country, to this day
she is still unable to tell her daughter about her past.
In the five years that have passed since I began work on my two previous
films on Japanese military "comfort women,"five of the women
who appeared in those films have died. I complete this third film,
My Own Breathing, then, with a sense of grief and condolence.
In those other two films, Murmuring (1995) and Habitual
Sadness (1997), the main space shown was the alternative living
cooperative known as "the House of Sharing."This time I
asked for the testimony of other halmoni (a term of familiarity
meaning roughly grandmother) who spoke of past and present life among
family and neighbors.
The film is divided into two parts to point out that these halmoni
express themselves in two ways. In the first part, one victim asks
questions of other victims. But this woman who does not particularly
wish to recall excruciating connections to the past, asks not in order
to know, but rather in order to preserve memory. Eventually the interviews
create a dialogue, a perfect replica of history, a past into which
the present cannot intervene.
If the first part of the film is composed of the protective gaze of
the camera, in the second half, the questions shift to the present,
where my own role emerges. How do their pasts and my present confront
each other? How is our time different and how is it the same? To me,
making this film was to have a dialogue with these halmoni who face
my camera, to face yet another death.
COPYRIGHT:Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee