Film Archive

Countries (Film Archive)

Country Focus South Korea 2015
9 Muses of Star Empire Hark-joon Lee

The members of the Korean K-Pop group “9 Muses” dream of becoming global stars. To achieve this, the young women are willing to make sacrifices and suffer humiliations galore.

9 Muses of Star Empire

Documentary Film
South Korea
2012
82 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Suk-kee Lee, Min-chul Kim
Hark-joon Lee
Nine Muses
Yeon-taek Seo
Milena Z. Petrović
Hark-joon Lee, Dong-kyun Ko, Chan-mi Jung
Aleksandar Protić
The members of the Korean K-Pop group “9 Muses” dream of becoming global stars. To achieve this, the young women are willing to make sacrifices and suffer humiliations galore.

Television journalist Lee Hark-joon had exclusive access to the Star Empire agency, home of the “9 Muses”, for more than a year. He filmed the daily routines of endless rehearsals and castings, spiced with rivalry, jealousy, betrayals and small scandals. Lee takes a matter-of-fact look at the internal mechanisms of the Korean media and entertainment industry. Beyond Psy and his “Gangnam Style”, famous in the West, too, the film offers a rare look behind the scenes of a multi-billion dollar business that likes to play its cards close to its chest.

Mark Siegmund

Army

Documentary Film
South Korea
2018
90 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, Junho Park
Kelvin Kyung Kun Park
Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, David Park
Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, Hein Seok
Paulo Vivacqua
Woochul’s face is running with sweat. Another one of those countless parades during which one is supposed to let the gun in one’s hand dance, following a strict choreography. Eternal drill. Permanent exercises. It’s hot and Woochul’s eyes flash with effort and nerves. The military training that’s compulsory for all young South Koreans lasts two years. Director Kelvin Kyung Kun Park himself is haunted until today by his traumatic time as a recruit. In his film, Woochul turns into an alter ego he uses to reflect on himself and Korean society, including the military system.

Ufos play a role, since these are seen with inordinate frequency by soldiers, a fact Park interprets as the expression of a specific mental state. Religion, too. In “Army”, a Christian K-Pop girl band performs no less than twice to frenetic cheering, calling upon their emotionally softened audience to write to them. How many men may actually do this and hope for an answer? Last, but not least, “Army” is about depression, from which both, director and protagonist, suffer in the course of their service. Kelvin Kyung Kun Park reports (and stays silent) in a basic tone of dry empathy. The film is dedicated to all those who lost their lives during military service.

Carolin Weidner

Baek-gu

Documentary Film
South Korea
2017
83 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Yuri Lee
Boram Kim
Boram Kim, Chohyun Na, Jeonghyn Mun Junho Kim Jaehong Koh, Jaehon Choi
Boram Kim
A limping old dog lives in a shed in a quiet district of Seoul. If it was human it would be called a hermit. One day the director notices the dog and becomes curious. She talks to neighbours, passers-by, playing children, who all crossed paths with this dog but never noticed it, or came to some banal conclusion and then forgot it again. Their statements are as diverse as witness statements after an accident: if an identikit picture or psychological profile were assembled from them it would be a magnificently grotesque creature – perhaps a hybrid of Quasimodo and the donkey from Bresson’s “Balthazar”.

In the course of the film, though, the statements respectively narratives respectively narrators themselves become more and more interesting. It seems as if every person there (only there?) lives in their own, separate world, rarely intersecting with the worlds of the others. A universe of melancholy. Who can tell what the director’s intention may have been at the start? She may simply, and rightly, have trusted that detours increase your local knowledge. Or followed the aphorism of the great Berlin pub-poet Jürgen K. Hultenreich: “Goals are in the way.”

Ralph Eue



Golden Dove Next Masters Competition

Coocooya

Animated Film
South Korea
2012
4 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Changhwan Lee, FXGear
Yongju Park
Doma studio
Yongju Park
Yongju Park
Sungho Park, Chigon Park, Donghwan Lee, Minkyung Lee
Yongju Park
Doma studio
During a radio interview, the reporter Coocoo helps to solve the problems of new objects that still have to learn what their function is. As it always turns out: Everybody has their own special talent.
Country Focus South Korea 2015
Cycle Jun-ki Kim

Along with Japanese war criminals and despite Korean protests, Koreans who were forcibly recruited by Japan in the Second World War are revered at the Yasukun Shrine as national heroes of the former enemy.

Cycle

Animated Film
South Korea
2015
14 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jun-ki Kim
Jun-ki Kim
Dong-uk Kim
Jun-ki Kim
Jun-ki Kim
Jun-ki Kim
Jun-ki Kim
Mediact
Along with Japanese war criminals and despite Korean protests, Koreans who were forcibly recruited by Japan in the Second World War are revered at the Yasukun Shrine as national heroes of the former enemy. A highly charged subject in a mixture of documentary footage and Anime-like images.

Grit Lemke

Factory Complex

Documentary Film
South Korea
2015
95 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Min-kyung Kim
Heung-soon Im
Tae-won Lee
Sun-young Lee, Heung-soon Im, Gil-ja Kim, Yun-jeong Jee
Hak-min Lee
Min-kyung Kim
New hypes regularly make teenagers all over the world queue up for new sneakers. They have no idea that the women who make them can’t afford them. “I want to wear Nike shoes, too”, was the slogan when they started their struggle in the 1980s. The video artist Im Heung-soon, whose mother worked in a textile factory, makes them visible: an army of worker ants who built the foundations of South Korea’s meteoric rise to economic power and who paid for this with their health and often their lives. Im Heung-soon draws a connection to today’s globalised consumer worlds where it’s the women again who keep things going in textile factories, the electronics industry, super markets, call centres or the service industry, who earn a pittance and always wear a friendly smile. He interweaves this ruthless and sober chronicle of exploitation, told in interviews, with surrealist experimental performances which individualise the pain of those who are usually seen as a mass or as human capital first and foremost.

Im Heung-soon won the Silver Lion at the Venice Biennial for his moving work which oscillates between art and documentation. It would be even better to spare a thought for the women from “Factory Complex” before the next mobile phone is purchased. And to question the purchase in the first place.

Grit Lemke

Fermented Watermelon

Animated Film
South Korea
2014
8 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ye-bin Yeo
Ye-bin Yeo
Jeong-wan Kim
Ye-bin Yeo
Ye-bin Yeo
Ye-bin Yeo
Ye-bin Yeo
Ye-bin Yeo
Of course the daughter can’t forgive her father for leaving her and her mother for another woman. The memory is painful. A reunion opens old wounds. The girl’s inner misery is ingeniously depicted through sound and abstract, overlapping drawings.

Annegret Richter
Country Focus South Korea 2015
Haegeumni Joon-su Seong

Even though she grew up in a well-to-do family in Pyongyang, she ended up in one of the notorious labour camps, where many of her relatives die, without ever learning the reasons. A depressing film about the despotism of the North Korean regime.

Haegeumni

Animated Film
South Korea
2012
14 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Na-young Park
Joon-su Seong
Seung-wook Shin
Joon-su Seong
Joon-su Seong
Joon-su Seong, Hae-jin Yoon, Na-young Park, Lu-jie Sun, Jae-yeon Kim
Joon-su Seong
Dong-ju Park, Na-young Park
Even though she grew up in a well-to-do family in Pyongyang, she ended up in one of the notorious labour camps, where many of her relatives die, without ever learning the reasons. A depressing film about the despotism of the North Korean regime.
Country Focus South Korea 2015
Herstory Jun-ki Kim

Korean Women were captured and brought to Java island as comfort women for soldiers. They lived on camp, always in fear of the men, illness or death. Chung Seo-woon, one of the victims tells her story of her survival.

Herstory

Animadoc
South Korea
2011
11 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jun-ki Kim
Jun-ki Kim
Dong-uk Kim
Jun-ki Kim
Jun-ki Kim
Jun-ki Kim
Dong-joo Park
Korean Women were captured and brought to Java island as comfort women for soldiers. They lived on camp, always in fear of the men, illness or death. Chung Seo-woon, one of the victims tells her story of her survival.
Country Focus South Korea 2015
Highway Stars Ji-gon Kim

“Udumbara” is the name of the Buddhist jazz band the monk Hyegwang founded with two friends from his days as a rock musician in the 1970s. At the time they toured the night clubs of Busan and were celebrated like stars, today they play in the streets.

Highway Stars

Documentary Film
South Korea
2014
86 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Min-kyung Kim, Bandal Doc / Takju Corp.
Ji-gon Kim
Ji-gon Kim, Byeong-kuk Kim, Sung-wook Jung, Min-wook Oh
Ji-gon Kim, Ho-mok Son
Dong-hwan Kim
“Udumbara” is the name of the Buddhist jazz band the monk Hyegwang founded with two friends from his days as a rock musician in the 1970s. At the time they toured the night clubs of Busan and were celebrated like stars, today they play in the streets.

Director Kim Ji-gon makes the three former rock stars’ past come alive through their own voices. He visits the sites of former glory with them and follows their present life as entertainers in bars and cultural fringe programmes, at rehearsals and gigs. The tragicomic portrait of three consummate musicians is a tribute to the music of the 1970s and 80s and at the same time offers an insight into the daily life and mindset of South Korea at the time.

Mark Siegmund
International Programme 2015
Insectichild Yun-kyoung Kim

As a new-born child the girl was abandoned by her teenage mother. She finds affection at the orphanage and with a family. But the fear of being abandoned again stays with her, crawling up inside her like an insect, dominating her thoughts and her whole life.

Insectichild

Animated Film
South Korea
2015
10 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Min-suk Kang
Yun-kyoung Kim
Jun-seok Ji
Min-suk Kang
Min-ji Park, Bum-sik Choi, So-yeon Lee, Jun-hee Lee
Yun-kyoung Kim
Jun-seok Ji
As a new-born child the girl was abandoned by her teenage mother. She finds affection at the orphanage and with a family. But the fear of being abandoned again stays with her, crawling up inside her like an insect, dominating her thoughts and her whole life. When her foster mother has a child of her own, it’s getting harder to keep these feelings under control.

Annegret Richter

Love at the Crossroads

Animated Film
South Korea
2019
6 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Choi Hee-Seung
Choi Hee-Seung
Choi Hee-Seung
Choi Hee-Seung
EARCANDY
Whoa! – Scream alert: the incredibly cute real Kim proposes to you out of the blue, wants to be the father of your kids and grow old with you. How to break this to your boy-friend, dream Kim? Between elegiac piano music and K-Pop beats, a student and her puppy loves are thrown into emotional turmoil. The super smart Anime boys invade her colourful, childish felt pen cosmos. In this world for three, Choi Hee-seung tells an uncompromisingly honest teenage love story.

André Eckard

Man on the Chair

Animated Film
France,
South Korea
2014
7 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ron Dyens
Dahee Jeong
Sangwoo Ma
Dahee Jeong
Dahee Jeong
A man is sitting on a chair in a room. He has been sitting there for so long that he’s unable to get up. He is immersed in thought: where do we come from? Who created us? Or was it just coincidence? Is there life after death? What if this room is only a product of my imagination? What if the world itself is only imagination? And: do I exist?

Duscha Kistler



Honorary Mention in the International Competition Animated Film 2014

Country Focus South Korea 2015
Manshin: Ten Thousand Spirits Chan-kyong Park

The term “manshin” refers to a shaman in trance, communicating between the living and the dead. South Korea’s best-known shaman, Kim Keum-hwa, was initiated into the art of exorcising, the so-called “gut”, by her grandmother.

Manshin: Ten Thousand Spirits

Documentary Film
South Korea
2014
104 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Sun-hee Han, Min-kyung Kim
Chan-kyong Park
Hyeon-jin Baek, Jun-seok Bang
Yun-jeong Jee, Sun-young Lee, Ji-sun Yoo
Yoonzu Um
Chan-kyong Park
The term “manshin” refers to a shaman in trance, communicating between the living and the dead. South Korea’s best-known shaman, Kim Keum-hwa, was initiated into the art of exorcising, the so-called “gut”, by her grandmother. After repressions during the Korean War and the ensuing reconstruction, she began to be widely recognised by the public and academic circles in the 1970s.

The director interweaves re-enacted scenes from Kim’s childhood and youth with archive material and interviews to create the gripping portrait of a self-confident woman between ecstasy and self-glamorisation. Kim’s spiritual turmoil shows itself in her public performances.

---Mark Siegmund

My Fair Wedding

Documentary Film
South Korea
2014
94 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jung-young Kim
Hee-sun Jang
Soo-jung Gye
Myung-hwan Moon
Hee-sun Jang
A-young Ko, Young-ho Kim
Film producer and director Kimjho Gwang-soo, openly gay, announces that he and his life partner Dave Kim are going to marry. The symbolic ceremony – it goes without saying that South Korea is still a long way from legalising same sex marriages – is to take place in the middle of Seoul.

Director Jang accompanies Gwang-soo and Dave during the preparations which turn out to be more difficult than expected. They must cope both with gay marriage activist and homophobic groups. The private event gradually turns into a publicly enacted comment on a society still strongly influenced by Confucian and conservative values.

Mark Siegmund