ACF Asian Cinema Fund

Asian Network of Documentary(AND) Fund

2005 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund

LIST Jin-ok Sister Goes to the School
Category HyupSung Renaissance Fund
Project Jin-ok Sister Goes to the School
Director KIM Jin Yeul
Country Korea
Director's Profile KIM Jin Yeul started to make documentaries starting with Disabled Woman Kim, Jin-Ok′s Marriage Story (1999) that she made while majoring communication in university. This documentary won Special Mention at the 1st Persons with Disabilities Film Festival. In the following year, she made The Land-Making Rice (2000) which won her the New Documentarist Award at 4th Seoul International Documentary Film Festival. Recently, she won The Women′s News Award at 6th Women′s Film Festival in Seoul with her film about women partisans called Forgotten Warriors (2005).
Jinok is a woman who has cerebral palsy. Enjoying reading and writing, Jinok of open-hearted and positive attitude doesn′t like to be bound by the constraints and prejudices for a woman who has a disability. She married at age forty. She has taken the adventure called marriage after meeting her husband who was volunteering as a car driver for people who are disabled. Marriage had brought many changes for Jinok. After going though trivial conflicts with her husband who seemed like her perfect match, she is becoming aware of the real side of the world that was previously not experienced. Then, giving birth brought many more changes in her life. People said many things like why give birth when she can′t properly raise a child and that it′s fortunate that she met such a nice husband. Such words hurt Jinok but her precious daughter became her greatest hope. (This was dealt with in my first documentary, Disabled Woman Kim, Jin-Ok′s Marriage Story (1999).) Suhkyung, the daughter, entered elementary school in 2005. If marriage was the gateway for Jinok to go out into the new world, going to school would be such a gateway for Suhkyung. Up until now, Suhkyung had naturally accepted the fact that her mother is in a wheelchair but from now on, she will find out that her mother is different from her school friends′ mothers. Jinok would feel helpless while facing all the things she has to do with Suhkyung. School picnics, lunch duties, sports day… She would be troubled about not being able to do things with Suhkyung in the same way as other mothers do for their children. This documentary begins from when Suhkyung enters elementary school. It would be an occasion for celebration for any other family but for Jinok′s family, it is a rather an uneasy celebration since there are so many predictable difficulties that lay dormant. How would Suhkyung perceive her mother after acquiring a new eye for the new world? She could end up denying her mother as an embarrassment that she would like to hide from other people′s sight. It seems as if happy times with the family are rarely granted to women with a disability. Although Jinok′s family denies the borderline between a normal and abnormal family, they are experiencing the risk of the borderline in its entirety.
Director's Note
Living a life of a woman in the Korean society is so hard that it′s tiresome to explain every detail about why and it even feels like divine punishment that can′t be lifted. However, women who come to know about the happiness and pride in ′being a woman′ are not afraid to be born a woman again. Of course, some women say they would be born again as men. During the younger years when there were so many obstacles to overcome, everyone had said so. Living a life of a woman is like facing the hope to live again after going through the muddy road of the past. A woman with a disability in Korea who has the double handicap of being a woman as well as being disabled was practically a ′non-existent being′. They couldn′t even go out the front door and they didn′t have any friends or jobs. Any kind of social relationship, let alone marriage was not allowed. They were trapped in the blind spot holding their breath. Having turned forty this year, Jinok has cerebral palsy. She had come out to the world after she turned thirty when she began her active involvement with a group for disabled people. Independent and optimistic about her life, Jinok is a person of character that can sufficiently break the bias against disabled women. Through Jinok, we can discover the common denominator in living a life of a disabled woman as well as living a life of a woman.
2007 Busan International Film Festival - Wide Angle
2008 International Women′s Film Festival In Seoul
2008 Independent Film & Video Makers′ Forum
2008 Cinema Verite Iran International Documentary Film Festival
Still Cut