Director: Park Bae-il
Film genre: Documentary
87 mins, 2017
Distributed by Cinema Dal
Soseongri is the portrayal of a community of senior citizens whose way of life is threatened when the decision is made to place the US THAAD anti-missile system in their village. Everyday life in Soseongri, a village located in the North Gyeongsang Province, has been severely impacted by the gradual departure of its young people, resulting in a disproportionately high population of elder citizens. The traditional and labour-intensive farm work is thus largely undertaken by those senior citizens who remain in this rural community. Park Bae-il captures the pace and daily routine of the villagers, highlighting the toil of the ageing community on the farm. The process of planting, peeling and packing produce is interspersed with interviews sharing personal stories and memories, meshing the past and present into the landscape.
The quiet rhythm of rural life in Soseongri is thrown into disarray with the onset of conflict between the South Korean police and the elderly community. The film documents both the resistance against THAAD, and the swift and aggressive manner in which the state shut down the demonstrations. Since 2010, Park Bae-il has, both individually, and through his work with film collective Ozi Film, built a diverse body of work documenting workers’ struggles, the fight for women’s rights and for those living with disabilities throughout South Korea.