Asian Cinema Fund 2018
2019 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund
|Project||Letters to Buriram|
On September 26, 1958, cannonballs fell like rain into the strait between China and Taiwan. That night, Byung-woo Choi, a journalist from Hankook Ilbo, disappeared into the strait. Why did he end his life in this strait so far away from home? Fifty eight years later in 2016, I met Hsiao Kaitzu in Tainan, the opposite side of the strait where journalist Byung-woo Choi had disappeared in. Two years later on February 6, 2018, an earthquake occurred in Hualian. This earthquake reminds Hsiao of the fear she felt from the Tainan earthquake exactly two years ago, and she thinks of her mother who lives in Buriram, Thailand. She begins to write a letter to her mother about her apprehension and longing.
Along with the end of World War II, a civil war broke out in East Asia. This civil war continues to advance without any declaration of an end. China reveals their ambition to occupy Taiwan, and chaos breaks out between North and South Korea as well, following the Panmunjom Declaration. Only the battle has ceased, and the two countries continue to be in an odd situation. We call this odd situation “peace”. The regions that the Taiwan Strait and Korea Strait flow through are under this odd peace, where the citizens live through all sorts of apprehension. This apprehension is the source of group consciousness that can be seen at Kinmen, the borderland, Busan, the capitalistic city, as well as Kyoto, the core of Japanese culture. The documentary Letters to Buriram illustrates these odd sights and stories through the image of a daughter sending a letter to her mother across East Asia.