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   Ji-Yoon Park

Like You Know It All  

(2021, 11’ 13”) a short documentary


Kwang-Ja Lee, a counsellor at ‘Lifeline Korea’ has been listening to anonymous people’s stories for 45 years. Every day, she is all ears to stories that cannot be shared anywhere else. Image and sound react to it and creates new reflective space that seems to be the bottom of one’s heart.

About thirty-seven people kill themselves every day in South Korea. And it often ranks the highest suicide rate in the world. These days, ‘Lifeline Korea’ gets around 60 calls a day. This film isn’t simply about emphasising serious suicide rate of South Korea, nor is it about providing solutions. Rather, it tries to shed light on how people and society should approach the suicide matter. How can we look into other people’s problems properly? And how can we change our attitudes to empathy? As seen in the title, ‘Like You Know It All’ questions our attitude towards other people’s problems.
[잘 알지도 못하면서] 한국생명의전화에서 상담원으로 45년간 자원봉사를 해온 이광자 씨는 이름도 얼굴도 모르는 사람들의 이야기를 들어왔다. 오늘도 그녀는 어디에도 가지 못하는 이야기들을 맞이한다. 그리고 이미지와 사운드는 그 이야기에 반응하며, 누군가의 마음속처럼 보이는 새로운 공간을 만들어 낸다.

하루에 37명이 스스로 목숨을 끊으며 자살률 1위를 기록하는 나라. 한국생명의전화에는 하루에 약 60통의 전화가 걸려온다. 이 영화는 단순히 한국 자살률의 심각성을 보여주거나 섣부른 해결방안을 제시하지 않는다. 오히려 우리 사회가 자살 문제에 대해 어떻게 접근해야 할지에 초점을 맞추고 있다. 우리는 어떻게 하면 타인의 문제를 어떻게 제대로 바라볼 수 있을까? 우리들의 태도를 어떻게 공감으로 변화시킬 수 있을까? 영화의 제목처럼, ‘잘 알지도 못하면서'는 타인의 문제에 대한 우리의 태도에 대해서도 질문한다. 

(Interview was conducted only through audio, as counsellors in ‘Lifeline Korea’ have conversations via phone. After repetitively listening to these interviews, I filmed images that went along with the stories. There are no human faces throughout the film. Instead, there are places and movements that help audiences imagine the story of the interview better. It was all part of making intangible things observable.)
(한국생명의전화 상담원들은 익명의 사람들과 목소리로만 상담한다는 점을 고려해 인터뷰는 오디오로만 진행되었다. 그리고 이후, 그 인터뷰들을 반복적으로 들으면서 이야기에 알맞은 이미지들을 새롭게 촬영했다. 영화 내내 사람의 얼굴은 나오지 않는다. 대신 인터뷰에서 나오는 이야기를 상상할 수 있는 어떤 장소들과 움직임들이 나온다. 눈에 보이지 않는 것들을 보이게 하려고 시도하는 과정이었다.)

- Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival 2021, Glasgow, UK, Official Selection, Normality? 2 - official selection World Premiere
- Seoul Ind Women’s Film Festival 2021, Seoul, South Korea, Official Selection, Short Film Competition
- EBS Int'l Documentary Festival 2021, Goyang and EBS TV, South Korea, Contemporary Docs Panorama  ︎︎︎작품 보기
- Jeju Hondie Film Festival 2021, Jeju, South Korea, Short Film Competition 
- Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival 2021, Jihlava, Czechia, Short Joy - short film competition
- San Diego Asian Film Festival 2021, San Diego, US, Official Selection

with: Kwang-Ja Lee / Directed, Produced, Filmed and Edited by Ji-Yoon Park / Sound Artist and Music Composer: Ellie Beale / Sound Mastering: Cosmo Lawson / Special Thanks to: Ye-Jin Cho (Lifeline Korea)

Reflective Essay on the Film  영화를 만들고 쓴 에세이 


<<In the 45 years that Kwang-Ja has been an lifeline operator, she has heard innumerable stories of desperate people, many of whom were determined to take their lives. How can we help someone whose pain we have never felt ourselves? The short film offers no solution to the problem of suicides; but its evocative imagery segments enable the viewer to emotionally connect to the people who have been a breath away from death.>> - written by Ji.hlava IDFF

<<Kwang-Ja has been a volunteer counsellor for LifeLine Korea for 45 years. Her daily routine is to listen to the story of total strangers over the phone. Although her counselling, with each lasting 30 to 40 minutes at most, cannot resolve all their problems, her role in understanding the troubled mind in their shoes is of utmost importance. A person who has never been hurt cannot see others’ wounds. But she is different - Kwang-Ja has managed to find a way to help someone by looking at the scars in her life first, and realized that staying close is helpful enough for those who are too much hurt to see that answers always lie within. Therefore, all she does is to guide the troubled clients outside the tunnel, hand in hand, so that they can find a solution on their own. It is easier said than done to listen to others until they finally say ‘Yeah, I am lost, you see.’ Giving constant efforts to understand others is accompanied by collecting the segments of imagery and sound to create a new space for an emotional connection. The film seems to argue that we should be wary of interpreting, defining, and recklessly talking about other people ‘like you know it all’ and that it takes tremendous efforts to do so.>> - written by Choi Jiwon(EIDF) 

 © Ji-Yoon Park. all rights reserved