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|Asian Spectrum: Post 98 Indonesian Women’s Cinema (9)||Polemics: Maternity in Question (6)|
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Best Asian-Middle Eastern Film Award / Tokyo International Film Festival 2009 Program Note
Berlin International Film Festival 2010
1975. It’s early autumn, somewhere in a small town in South Korea. Jinhee is 9. She sets off on a journey. She doesn’t know where she is going. But she has to follow. She has to obey. Somewhere near Seoul, her father entrusts her to an orphanage for girls run by Catholic nuns in the hope that she will be adopted. Jinhee resists. She cannot believe that this father whom she loves so much has abandoned her. She tries to make him come back. She attempts to run away. In vain, she finally accepts her fate, forced to hope and wait for her possible adoption.
A Brand New Life is a biographical story of the director herself who was adopted by a French family in the early 70’s. Its French title is actually Une Vie Toute Nueve. 9-year-old Jinhee is excited about the trip with her father. However, her father leaves her in an orphanage, never to return. The orphanage is like a temporary station for little travelers like Jinhee. All these travelers are there for different reasons and their duration also varies. 17-year-old Yeshin grows to womanhood and has her heart broken. Jinhee conceals her period in order to be adopted overseas. However, all their journeys have something in common; it’ was never by their choice and they were forced into new lives. Therefore, it is not a trip, it is deportation. Unexpected parting, betrayal by loved ones, the destitute present and the uncertain future…The states of their minds embracing the whole situation are subtly delivered through their mundane routine and points of view. We choke up when their lives are turned upside down by the fathers. However, the girls are not contemptuous. These girls come together at the orphanage, the station of their lives, and they embrace each other and their wounds. They start a new relationship and rely on each other. This warm story is about the women who fight against their tough lives and find courage in the relationships among them. (NAM In-young)
Best Asian-Middle Eastern Film Award / Tokyo International Film Festival 2009
Ounie LECOMTEOunie LECOMTE
Born in Seoul in 1966, Ounie Lecomte left Korea for France at the age of 9 when a Protestant family adopted her. After studying dress design, she worked on a number of films: as an actress with Olivier Assayas Paris S’eveille or as a costume designer, notably for Sophie Fillières. In 1991, she returned to Korea to play the part of an abandoned girl looking for her roots there. The film (Seoul Metropolis by SEO Myung-Soo) was never made, but reality caught up with fiction and she was reunited with her biological family. In 2006, she enrolled at the Femis Screenwriting Workshop where she started to write A Brand New Life.