A long-time director of documentaries on migrant workers, JOO Hyun-sook focuses her gaze this time on the issue of international marriages. Questioning both popular media representations of these women, which ignore their human rights and depict them as commodities on a conveyor belt, and the ordinary prejudices of Koreans, she chooses to listen, instead, to the voices of these women. The voices include that of the 19-year-old Ddien, born in Vietnam, who, after suffering regular abuse and even a forcible abortion by her 62-year-old Korean husband, is now filing for divorce. There is also the voice of Melody who single-handedly raised three children while living in South Korea for over 10 years, and Melinda who has to guide herself with a map the moment that she steps off the plane, to orient herself to a new environment and a new life. Even though the women suffer tremendous hardship, it is the filmmaker who learns from these women the meaning of life, and who receives from them the strength to complete her documentary. When an unexpected pregnancy threatens to disrupt the film production schedule, the director learns from Melody, who had raised several strong and bright children, the preciousness of life. Melinda, who gets pregnant during the same period, also helps the director to finish her project before she gives birth to her own child. In short, the documentary that begins from the director’s sense of social consciousness impinges on her personal life in unexpected ways. However, through the shared experiences of marriage, pregnancy, and birth, and overcoming various obstacles, the director does more than produce a film, but also cultivates a sense of sisterly connection and camaraderie with these women. (Billy Choi)
JOO Hyun-SookJOO Hyun-Sook
JOO Hyun-sook finished her 16mm workshop at the Association of Korean Independent Film & Video in 1994. She also directed the documentaries such as 83 Hostages (2002), Omnibus Journey: Migration (2003), It Goes on: The Undocumented is Documented (2004) and Provocation of Neo-liberalism (2005). She also participated in \"Media Class for Migrant Workers\'\" as a lecturer. The class provided the chance to participate as creator of multimedia to those who are in many cases shunned from the media itself. She has been a very vigorous media activist in Migrant Labor Movement, including participating as executive director of the interview project of migrant workers, Die or Leave.