Film Archive

Jahr

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



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