Jung Il-woo, My Friend

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Lkff2018 Doc Fortnight Jung Il Woo My Friend 02
Film info

Director: Kim Dong-won
Film genre: Documentary
85 mins, 2017
Distributed by Cinema Dal

Kim Dong-won's most recent film to date is a heartfelt tribute to Father Jung Il-woo, a North-American Jesuit priest who dedicated his life to political activism and doing charity work for the poor urban and peasant communities in South Korea. The film follows the path of this man from his arrival in Korea in the 1950s, through a life of commitment to the poorest people and to fighting against political injustice. This biographical portrait is also a film about the communities Father Jung Il-woo worked with, and about the strong ties of friendship and solidarity that developed between them. Amassing interviews and personal testimonies, together with many images taken during the protagonist's life, the film paints an engaging portrait of this individual while alluding more generally to social struggles South Korea has faced over the last decades. The film is also a reflection on the lasting influence Father Jung had on Kim Dong-won’s own life and work, and how notions of empathy and friendship are essential in overcoming the hardships faced by these communities each and every day.