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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.
“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.
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.
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.