Hohyun Joung | 2005 | 57 min | Video | Canada/Korea | Canadian Premiere
Umma is an intensely intimate documentary about the filmmaker’s mother, Hongja Kim. After her husband dies, Hohyun’s mother realizes that she is done with all her duties as first daughter-in-law. Abandoning everything, particularly all previous responsibilities to the Joung family, she is seemingly blinded by her religious devotion. Stubbornly motivated by a desire to be rewarded in the Christian afterlife, she gives away her portion of the Joung family land to the church and wants Hohyun to do the same. Angrily questioning her mother’s decision, Hohyun wonders, how could she give away the only thing she’s ever owned, especially something she’s worked for her whole life?
As in-laws demand that Hohyun’s mother comply with traditional ancestral rites, suppressed anger and pain surface. While being a personal story about the inescapable pressures of familial hierarchy, Umma is also about a daughter’s sincere attempt to become closer to her very complicated mother.
Looking at unsettling experiences, Hohyun Joung explores issues that many of us have shared with our families. Born in South Korea in 1972, she has an MFA in film and video from York University. She is a member of the Association of Korean Independent Film & Video and currently lives in Cuba. She has recently exhibited at the Seoul Women’s Int’l Film Festival, Thai Short Film Festival and Copenhagen International Documentary Festival. Joung Family Girls (2003) and Homesickness (2002) have both screened at Reel Asian.
Elaine Chang | 2006 | 2 min | Video | Canada | World Premiere
In this satirical short, a woman, a steam iron and a wrinkled shirt collaborate and collide in an ironic parable of power, subordination, and imposed uniformity.
Born in Vancouver of Korean heritage, Elaine Chang teaches contemporary literature and cultural studies at the University of Guelph. Her recent critical and creative work takes a playful approach to questions of identity and place, desire, memory, and progressive politics.
Janice Tanaka | 2006 | 28 min | Video | USA
When does our awareness of youth begin? After it has passed? Are we always subconsciously mourning this slippage of youth? Or do we waken suddenly from a vibrant dream to discover we are housed, dull-witted, in wrinkled skin while lust, embarrassed, hides in folds of flesh gone soft? At 20, 30 is over the hill. At 40, 30 seems young, and 40 ancient, while at 50, 40 doesn’t seem so bad, and 60 looks like infinity and beyond. And so we repeat this forward and backward, regretting throughout our lives, never fully able to appreciate where we are.
Considered a pioneer of the processed image as narrative form, Janice Tanaka has exhibited her work in the 1991 Whitney Biennial; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston and the Maryland Institute of Contemporary Art. Most recently, she has exhibited at Bonn Videonale International; Kijkhaus, the Hague; European Media Arts Festival, Osnabruck, Germany; the San Francisco Film Society; and the Boston Museum of Fine Art. Her numerous honours include an American Film Institute Media Award, The Rockefeller Foundation Intercultural Film/Video Fellowships, Corporation for Public Broadcasting Grant and several National Endowment for the Arts Regional Media Arts Fellowships.