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Documentary, Experimental ㅣ JEONJU Lab: Feature Length

THE SILENT BRIDE

CHO Eunsol
Korea 80min 4K Color/B&W Documentary, Experimental
Production StatusPre-Production
Goal of ParticipationCo-production, World Sales, Film Festival Screening
Production budget210,000,000 KRW
Budget Required198,000,000 KRW
Secured budget JEONJU International Film Festival [JEONJU Lab First Fund Grant ] : 5,000,000 KRW · DMZ International Documentary Film Festival[Incubating Fund] : 2,000,000 KRW · Self-funding[-] : 5,000,000 KRW
LOGLINE

In 1963, 131 women escaped from a shelter in Seoul. The director struggles to find 'Okja' who led the escape.

SYNOPSIS

Late on a rainy night in 1963, 131 women escaped from the Seoul Women's Shelter. They made a hole in a wall, secretly made ropes out of clothes, and climbed over the 4m fence and wire. The leader of the escape was Kim Okja, born in 1942. The director decides to find 'Kim Okja.' The director faces the shadow of the shelter and Korea's modernization through meeting victims of 'Seoul Women's Shelter' and digging into the archives. The government established the shelter in 1961, accommodating tens of thousands of women on the streets for 30 years. Women were in poor conditions, and hundreds were forced to marry strangers for their country. Can the director dig out the reality of the shelter buried in the passing years and meet 'Kim Okja'?

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

This story begins in an era when many people left their hometowns and flocked to the city. In the 1960s and 1970s, streets were overflowing with people, such as orphans, vagrants, prostitutes, and ragtag. The government sent them to shelters. The government even made people marry strangers. However, the stories of the women have been kept secret until now because most of the shelters, including 'Seoul Women Shelter,' have been framed as places where prostitutes went. However, looking at the law, the shelter accommodated "those who engaged in prostitution or were likely to engage in prostitution." In other words, the government could send every woman to the shelter. The victims are still silent about the pain to this day. The 'oppression that makes them unable to speak' is why I must make this film.

INTERVIEW
What inspired you to start this project?
Old newspapers are well digitally archived, so people can easily go through decades at home with just a few clicks. I first met the Seoul Women's Shelter when reading an old newspaper. As I clicked and clicked without much thought, an article titled 131 Women of night escaped from the Women Shelter caught my eye. The paper had a picture of a vast shelter, with an arrow graphic showing the escape route. I read the article as if possessed. '131 out of 152 people escaped', 'They made a hole in the wall', 'They made a rope with blue uniform and climbed over the 4m fence and wire', 'It was when three guards fell asleep in the rain and wind.’
Is there any scene or emotion you want the audience to remember after watching this movie?
Reading the article, I felt catharsis. The women risked their lives for their freedom. Like everyone else, I sometimes wanted to escape from something, but I lived by thinking of practical reasons and adapting. However, seeing their great escape, the desire to 'Want to escape too' arose. Re-reading the article, I found a leader, 'Kim Okja' She helped 130 women to escape and whispered to me to run 60 years later. I decided to meet Kim Okja.
DIRECTOR
CHO Eunsol
Cho Eunsol was born in 1991 in Seoul, South Korea. After majoring in Sociology in college and making web dramas and entertainment programs, she made a short film Peeling (2018) and Mrs. Park (2018). Studying documentaries in graduate school since 2021, she crosses fiction, documentary, and animation. She is a producer of an animation documentary The Color of the Wind (in production), and also shoot an animation documentary Engraving (2022; Best Short Film Award at the Seoul Independent Film Festival).
Peeling (2018), Mrs. Park (2018)
CONTACTsdaniela32@gmail.com
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