Fall Film Series Wraps Up With Two Short Films About Family Relationships

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.

Still image from Family ProjectThe 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.

Still image from Making Sun-dried Red PeppersThe 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.