These days have been hard on everyone, all economic entities have been shaken, especially since no one predicted this pandemic. 

We have even gone beyond ‘medical death’ and have reached cases of ‘economic death’ foreign exchange crisis – financial situation –  over the cliff – worst situation people are being pushed to their limits because of the foreign exchange crisis and current financial situation, it seems that the situation is only getting worse situation. 
It is a certain fact that ‘medical death’ and ‘economic death’ is becoming inversely proportional.

Korea’s performance vis a vis corona prevention such as social awareness, medical volunteering, private business ‘corona test kit’ development, serves as an example for medical crisis management to the rest of the world.  But Korea’s economic downfall is inevitable.

With the recent crisis on our hands, we are once again called on as one nation to join efforts, lending a hand to our neighbors who need help and asking for help when we need it to get through these hard times.  We can proudly say that we have been tested numerous times in the past but have always come out victorious through compassion and collaboration.

Be it ‘medical death’ or ‘economic death’ I wish our collaborative efforts will allow us to steer clear from both. And I do believe that we can.

Live your own life, Our body (2018)

Ja-young (the main character) has been preparing for the national public official exam for eight years now, but she has lost too much and she’s sick and tired of everything. 

Suddenly appears ‘Hyun-joo’ who has a “healthy” aura.  ‘Ja-young’ changes her lifestyle from static to dynamic, pushing herself out of her comfort zone little by little through running with Hyun-joo. First of all, <Our body> might seem to be sending a message of support and consolation to the helpless youth through running, an activity that delivers pure pleasure only through exercise.

However, <Our Body> wasn’t such a cliche-plot movie, It is not trying to praise running as a way for young people to improve. The movie does not describe Ja-young’s situation as seen from a fixed point of view, it describes it from constantly changing perspectives without any common reference. Ja-young is not interested in settling-down and she’s lost interest in reaching any specific goal. Though she joins a company through a friend, her interest lies in realizing her own desires, not in dreaming about the future. And at the heart of it all, was Hyun-joo. Without Hyun-joo, Ja-young would not have felt confident about her body.

But Hyun-joo’s relationship was short-lived as Hyun-joo dies suddenly in a car accident. Ja-young has now lost her source of aspiration.

Without Hyun-joo, Ja-young would not have felt confident about her body. Ja-young opens her eyes to other people’s perspectives and learns to lead her own way of life. Though Ja-young previously had a single-minded temperament, she would have been worn-down by her inferiority complex if she had not met Hyun-joo. But Hyun-joo’s relationship was short-lived as Hyun-joo dies suddenly in a car accident. Ja-young has now lost her source of aspiration.

Ja-young now understands the gloomy reality of Hyun-joo’s life. But she still projects Hyun-joo’s desires to her own as she runs along the path that Hyun-joo had run. She no longer cares about what other people think.  She ends up understanding the sexual fantasies Hyun-joo mentioned and appears to try to fill her absence by realizing Hyun-joo’s fantasies with other men, but the pleasure she felt was only superficial. Ja-young leaves her job and tries to realize the pure fantasy she once dreamed of but had pushed to the dark corners of her mind.

While it’s easy to live like Hyun-joo, it’s not easy to live like Ja-young. In the end, Hyun-joo tried to hide the reality of her life,  while Ja-young faced the world as a pure subject of enjoyment, exposing the even more relentless miserable reality we live in. The more you are suppressed by something, the more you try to wriggle out of it. However, most of us live our life like Hyun-joo, while we yearn to be free, we tend to keep that reality hidden and go on with our routine.

“It’s wonderful to be able to act without fear of experiencing something in person, rather than live a life where you don’t make mistakes and don’t step into messy relationships, and I thought that that’s the kind of person Ja-young is. In my opinion, that’s why she’s the main character, not Hyunjoo”

Behind of Confucian roots, The woman who ran(2019)

Following the success of “Parasite” at the Oscars in 2020, another Korean movie has surfaced in Berlin. On February 29th director Hong Sang-soo won the Silver Bear Award for his new film “The Woman Who Ran” (2019). It is only the second time in 16 years that a Korean director has won the Best Director award at the Berlin Film Festival since Kim Ki-duk, director of “Samaria (2004). It’s the film’s epic victory.

 I knew this would happen. He is my favorite, regardless of his relationship history.

 Also, Kim Min-hee (Hong Sang-soo’s lover), who stars for the seventh time in one of the director’s films, is one of my favorite actresses and she has also won the Silver Bear-Women’s Award at the Berlin Film Festival for her appearance in “On the Beach at Night Alone” (2016).

“The Woman Who Ran” is a movie that follows the main actress Kim Min-hee, who plays the role of a florist who enjoys the absence of her husband who leaves for a long business trip.  A reporter asked director Hong in a press conference, “Who is the woman who ran away? And why did she run?” Hong said, “Every woman is running away from something, and I don’t know the exact details because there is no exact answer to it”. In the end, we have to find the answer to the ending as we always did with his movies.

Most people know that the relationship between director Hong and actress Kim Min-hee started as an affair. They first met with “Right Now and Wrong Then” and publicly admitted to their relationship in 2017. In South Korean society, Hong Sang-soo is not well recognized as a director, he is treated as a failed ex-director for commercial films. The movie community in Berlin.

However, doesn’t seem to be very interested in the private lives of the artists.

Is ridding modern Korean society from its Confucian roots, hence making it a true capitalist society the only way that enables these works of art to shine as they should?

In fact, I personally do not get much agitated by these Confucian problems. I love actress Kim Min-hee, herself and director Hong Sang-soo bring a unique combination of natural and comfortable emotions with their signature silence combined with the flow filming method. The director’s saying “Life is beyond any kind of generalization.” is always on my mind. That concept is why I love his films.

Can’t we just accept their work, as director and actress? While this is not the only way to look at it, and I don’t believe anyone has to think in this way, I still think it’s important to distance ourselves from daily happenings, to sincerely understand the intent of the artists.