ACF Asian Cinema Fund

Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund

2022 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund

LIST Shark - A Story of Growing Old
Category Haein Industrial Fund
Project Shark - A Story of Growing Old
Director Kyung Soon
Country Korea
Director's Profile Mindulle (1999) documents the struggles of parents to restore the honor of their late children who died fighting for democracy. The questions raised during the making of that film became major themes of Kyung Soon’s subsequent works, giving birth to Patriot Game (2001), a parody of Korean patriotism; What Do People Live For (2004), an expose of the fallacy of human rights under statism; Shocking Family (2006), a light-hearted parody of Korean familism; Red Maria (2012) and Red Maria 2 (2015), explorations of women’s bodies and labor in Asia; and Patriot Game 2 ? To Call a Deer a Horse (2019), a reflection of the naked face of Korean democracy laid bare through the dissolution of the United Progressive Party.
Synopsis
Things that fly past when running only become noticeable when standing still. And those small everyday discoveries lead to retrospection over what has flown past.

Bored with life, the director cuts all her ties and leaves the city. She distances herself from uninteresting people and drops work she finds boring. Her daily life then consists of repairing her run-down hut, walking her dog, who refuses to poop unless it’s in nature, and stopping rats from gnawing their way into the hut through its mud walls at night. Each day begins with the sun streaming in through the window and her mood changes depending on the weather. She experiences what it’s like not to feel bored even when doing nothing. She wanders out of the village in search of a little excitement. Wall climbing has been on her wish list for quite some time. She doubts that she’s young enough or fit enough for climbing, but discovers that most of the climbers in the club are old folks. The director is ashamed of herself for acting like an old-timer. She begins to look back on the films that caused her to grow old before her time.
Director's Note
As a filmmaker, I’ve made seven documentary films over 25 years. A sense of indebtedness to Korean society motivated me to seek out its ignored stories, which then became themes for each film. Filmmaking was like a diary of life, and I started out dreaming of an exciting world, but with time, my films became filled with stories of a not-so-exciting world. My films failed to find distribution channels or audiences. Preferring isolation to fighting despair, I spent three years in a remote mountain village. Isolation brought small changes. Doing nothing didn’t feel boring. I experienced how a ray of sunlight, the scent of grass, or the song of birds could bring happiness. Those happy days posed the question, “What choices would I make if I were to return to my filmmaking days?” Even were I to choose again, the general direction of my life probably wouldn’t change. But other questions I’d buried while filmmaking popped up. Was my anger then justified? Is my peace now whole? These questions are as confusing as finding the right way to grow old. I’m still confused, but since these questions cropped up through filmmaking, I want to find answers through filmmaking.
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