로고

닫기

Documentary ㅣ JEONJU Lab: Feature Length

A Poem from a Strange Country

HEO Chulnyung
Korea 90min 4K Color Documentary
Production StatusProduction
Goal of ParticipationFinancing, World Sales
Production budget185,500,000 KRW
Budget Required27,200,000 KRW
Secured budget JEONJU International Film Festival [ JEONJU Lab First Fund Grant ] : 5,000,000 KRW · Korea Creative Content Agency : 92,500,000 KRW · Gyeonggi Content Agency : 40,000,000 KRW · Storyon Pictures (Self-funding)[-] : 20,800,000 KRW
LOGLINE

Poetry is more truthful than words.

SYNOPSIS

Jeevan, a former journalist who dreams of getting an E-7 visa to continue working in South Korea; Sunil, a former banker who endures longing for the future of his young daughter whom he has never met; and Dilip, a former teacher who forgets his pride as an intellectual to work alone on a cow farm for his family. For the three, working time in Korea is a time when their dreams grow as well as a time when their dreams are destroyed. Every month, the news and the community are filled with stories of injuries and deaths of colleagues they've worked with. They write poetry late at night when they are heartbroken that they can't tell anyone.

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

The number of migrant workers in Korea is already approaching one million. Korea has the largest share of manufacturing in all industries among the OECD countries, and with a decreasing workforce, the number of migrant workers will only continue to grow in the future. Are we ready to welcome them into our communities as they continue to arrive? This film attempts to look at ourselves through the eyes of Nepali migrant workers. Their mouths are sealed by the discrimination and oppression of Korean society, but their poetry is true, free, and beautiful. Now, let’s listen to their stories.

INTERVIEW
What inspired you to start this project?
While I was on vacation in Jeju Island, I got a call from Kim Ok-young, the producer of the film, that she happened to read a book of poetry, and I wanted to make a documentary film of the poems and the stories of the poets, and asked if I could direct it. The title of the book was "This is the City of Machinery," and I thought it was a little unusual because all the authors were Nepalese migrant workers living in Korea. As soon as I went back to Seoul, I read the collection of poems, and was fascinated by them. I had seen some films or TV programs related to migrant workers, but most of them were in the form of reportage or in the form of TV shows. But the world of migrant workers, unraveled in the language of high metaphors and symbols of poetry, gave me a fresh sense of their reality, which I could only have guessed. There was also a sense of challenge as a director of how it would be if the written language poetry was newly translated into the visual language called the film, so I eventually embarked on this film. Since I started, I now notice even more migrant workers on the streets and in restaurants when I go on business trips or film in the suburbs. They have always been there, however, and I reflect on whether my indifference has denied their existence.
Is there any scene or emotion you want the audience to remember after watching this movie?
The three main characters in this film are all young people in their early to mid-30s with college degrees or higher academic backgrounds. Although they weren’t paid much, they were elites in Nepal with their own distinguished jobs. How would they have felt when they had to choose a life of manual labor where the things they had studied for a long time were meaningless when they chose to come to Korea for economic stability? Perhaps that was why there was a significant amount of “self-esteem" mentioned in their poems. Whenever they were ignored, despised, and forced to work unjustly, perhaps they were protecting their self-esteem by writing poetry. The film features poetry recitation scenes that embody their inner landscape in many ways. I hope the audience appreciates and feels the poems.
DIRECTOR
HEO Chulnyung
Born in 1986. He directed his first feature documentary, Remanent People (2012), followed by Milyang, a Welcome (2014), The Whispering Trees (2021), which won the BIFF Mecenat Award at the Busan IFF 2021.
Remanent People (2012), The Whispering Trees (2017), 206: Unearthed (2021)
PRODUCER
KIM Okyoung
In 2010, she founded Storyon Pictures, a production company specializing in documentaries, and produced a number of films including Spacechild (2017), Crossing Beyond (2018), and Soft Revolution (2019), and co-produced Vanished (2019). She has received awards for her work and has been honored with the 3rd Order of Cultural Merit, called Bogwan. She is the author of Techniques of Documentary (2020).
Crossing Beyond (2018), Evaporated (2019)
CONTACTstoryon12@naver.com
Jeonju Office

(54999) 2F, JEONJU Cine Complex, 22, Jeonjugaeksa 3-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeonbuk-do, Republic of Korea

T. +82 (0)63 288 5433 F. +82 (0)63 288 5411

Seoul Office

(04031) 4F, 16, Yanghwa-ro 15-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea

T. +82 (0)2 2285 0562 F. +82 (0)2 2285 0560

JEONJU Cine Complex

(54999) JEONJU Cine Complex, 22, Jeonjugaeksa 3-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeonbuk-do, Republic of Korea

T. +82 (0)63 231 3377