Director: Noh Young Sun
Cast: Jang Yeo-jung, Ishikawa Yuko
Film genre: Documentary
Cert 15, 70 mins, 2018
Distributed by Survivance
Framed by the question “Can you mourn for a person of whom you have no memory?”, Noh Young Sun’s first documentary feature tells a heartbreaking story of absence and loss rooted in the turmoil of the Korean War.
Now living in France, far from her mother, Noh reaches one generation back to solve the mystery of ‘Yukiko’, her unknown Japanese grandmother who went back to Tokyo shortly after giving birth to the daughter of her Korean lover in 1950s Pyongyang. The lives of the three women intertwine in this craftily constructed first-person film as the archival footage accompanying a forbidden wartime love story gives way to poetic shots of the windswept surroundings of Noh’s mother’s house. During the director’s visit to the care home her grandmother died in on the Japanese island of Okinawa, a local woman re-enacts her own family’s traumatic history, pointing to the bigger picture which envelops individual narratives.