The Center for Korean Studies fall 2012 film series–“Korean Family and Gender in Flux”–wraps up on Tuesday, November 27, with a program consisting of two short films chosen by Prof. Young-a Park of the UH Asian Studies Program.
The first film is director Jo Yun Kyung’s 2002 portrait of a “typical” Korean family in crisis, Family Project: House of a Father (가족 프로젝트: 아버지의집, 2002, 52 min.). In this examination of a Korean middle-class family in transition, the grown children of the family confront the father, who is fixated on his role as the head of the household, and the mother, who regrets a life of self-sacrifice. The director’s painful exploration of her own family pushes viewers to reflect on their experiences of family life and to ponder larger questions of the meaning of family in Korean society.
The second film, Making Sun-dried Red Peppers (고추 말리기,1999, 54 min.), directed by Chang Hee-sun, exposes the lives of three generations of women. The grandmother has toiled endlessly for seventy years. Married at nineteen, she never even learned how to put on make-up. Her main complaint now is that her daughter-in-law ignores the never-ending household chores. She has, however, always nurtured a dream of writing poetry. The mother in the family is a free spirit who loves traveling and bossing people around. She cannot help but worry about her daughter, Hee-sun’s weight problem, wishing that she would slim down and get herself a good man. Hee-sun, an aspiring filmmaker, is currently unemployed and extremely annoyed by her mother’s constant nagging. When the time comes to make sun-dried red peppers, the three disgruntled women sit down and clash as they perform the ritual of drying the peppers.
Center for Korean Studies film screenings are free and open to the public. They take place in the Center’s auditorium at 1881 East-West Road on the University of Hawaii Manoa campus. Films are shown in Korean with English subtitles. Paid parking is available in a lot next to the Center. For further information, telephone the Center at (808) 956‑7041.