Film Archive

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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



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