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Documentary ㅣ JEONJU Lab: Feature Length

Red Diary

LIM Daecheong
Korea 90min FHD Color Documentary
Production StatusProduction
Goal of ParticipationFilm Festival Screening
Production budget40,000,000 KRW
Budget Required20,000,000 KRW
Secured budget JEONJU International Film Festival [JEONJU Lab First Fund Grant ] : 5,000,000 KRW · DMZ International Documentary Film Festival[ Development Fund ] : 10,000,000 KRW · Self-funding [-] : 5,000,000 KRW
LOGLINE

Two years ago, Myanmar’s military staged a coup, and the people resisted. The story of a couple fighting for democracy in Myanmar.

SYNOPSIS

One day, Choi Jin-bae receives photos and videos from Myanmar. After volunteering in Myanmar five years ago, Choi returned to South Korea to work as a translator when he received news from Myanmar after a long silence. The photos he received show a devastated neighborhood, bloodied stairs, and collapsed houses. The people of Myanmar asked him to inform the world about what was happening in their country. While studying and working in Korea, Myanmar national Nyein Thazin receives news of a coup in her homeland. She immediately worries about her family in Mandalay. She calls her father and he tells her about the military’s brutality in real time. The photos she received depict a devasted neighborhood, blood-soaked stairs, and collapsed houses. The people of Myanmar have asked to inform the world what was happening in their country. Eventually, Choi Jin-bae and Nyein Thazin start their own democratization struggle to help Myanmar. The film is based on the protagonists’ own diaries and follows the people’s struggle for democratization in Myanmar and the atrocities committed by the military along with footage secretly shot by local citizens.

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

In February 2021, Myanmar’s military junta staged a coup, detaining State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and politicians, claiming that a general election held three months ago was illegitimate. The people of Myanmar believe that their country should no longer return to the military dictatorship of its past, so they engage in peaceful protests and civil disobedience, but the military tramples on those who demand democracy. Two years later, the people of Myanmar are still fighting for democracy, refusing to give up even in the face of the guns of the military. I saw the footage that Jinbae Choi kept, the protagonist of the film, most of which was secretly filmed by the people of Myanmar at the risk of their lives, and it showed the people’s painstaking resistance to restore democracy and the military’s atrocities to maintain power. I made this work to support the revolution for democracy in Myanmar, which has been overshadowed by many issues.

INTERVIEW
What inspired you to start this project?
Looking back two years ago, many people in Korea seemed to be interested in the coup in Myanmar, relating it to our own history, raising money, and hoping to help. This interest, however, faded in less than six months, and now, two years later, it has become a completely forgotten story. I was introduced to an international couple who could bring this forgotten story back to people, and at this point, a year later, this couple has now become my friend. What started out vaguely to help Myanmar has now changed to making a documentary to help a friend.
In fact, the story in Myanmar is not irrelevant to our country. There are things happening out of the realm of common sense going on in this world. Who would have thought a year ago that Ukraine and Russia would be at war? The same goes for the coup in Myanmar. Burmese also believed that Myanmar could become a democratic country after the party led by Aung San Suu Kyi took power for 10 years, and for the MZ generation, the past military dictatorship was completely forgotten. However, the old tale came back to life. The Burmese are now regretful that they put their minds at ease and closed their eyes to monitoring the powerful. Then, we can't help but turn to the question of whether our own democracy is solid. I hope that this will serve as a mirror to remind us that we should always be awake.
Is there any scene or emotion you want the audience to remember after watching this movie?
This film will be composed of two axes. One is a Korean man’s perspective composing the history of Myanmar's democratization movement, and the other is a Burmese woman's point of view, of guilt of not being able to participate in the resistance movement while living in Korea, longing for her family due to not being able to go back home, and a firm will to help her compatriots. I wish to convey such emotions through the film. The former is in a state that has been set up to some extent, and the latter is planned to be worked on from now on. I think the originality of this work lies in the latter rather than the former. As a director, there already are images that would show the emotions of the female protagonist in my mind, but due to the nature of documentaries, capturing the situation and visualizing it through directing is another matter, so I am very curious about myself about how the image in my head can be visualized. I will do my best to unravel the main character's thoughts and emotions through video so that this work can resonate with many.
DIRECTOR
LIM Daecheong
Born in 1976. After majoring in journalism at university, he worked as a public servant. While doing so, he was overwhelmed by the tough life of a foreign old lady, whom he met by chance. He made a short documentary after following her for five years and the work Molly’s Home (2020) won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Special Prize in the Korean Short Film Competition at the 2021 Pyeongchang IFF, with the jury comment, “A film documented to remember which speaks boldly and shows silently.” The director, who is passionate about bringing the stories of the marginalized in our society, is working on this first feature-length documentary film Red Diary, about the democratic uprising in Myanmar.
Molly's Home (2020)
CONTACTpolicepd@korea.kr
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