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Once Upon a Time 

(2020, 5’ 23”)


There is a waterfall somewhere without a sign of human activity. Through the shiny surface of the rapid torrent, words emerge and approach closer to the centre. A tape machine whirs, the nostalgia is relentless. An essay film about the unexpected compulsion to revisit the past. It encompasses both the ‘weird urge’ to follow bad memories and the ‘resistance’ against the power of the past. -> excerpt

- Ji.hlava International Docuentary Film Festival 2020, Jihlava, CZ, Fascinations - competition for experimental films World Premiere & Echoes f 24th Ji.hlava IDFF in 2021, selected as one of the best experimental films from Fascinations section 
- Alchemy Film and Arts Festival 2021, Hawick, UK, Official Selection, A Human Certainty 
- Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival 2021, Glasgow, UK, Official Selection - Nature 
- Pragovka Gallery, Prague, CZ, special screening with 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Lago Film Fest 2021, Revine Lago, IT, Experimental Film Competition: New Signs  ︎︎︎Programme Note  
- NOWNESS ASIA, HK, the film is currently temporarily unavailable online 
- Tape Collective, London, UK, programe with UCL Film Soc’s Fest

<<In Once Upon a Time, Ji-Yoon Park juxtaposes a video sequence of serene flowing waters with the filmmaker’s own struggle to revisit her past via running onscreen text. Park’s film deals with self-image, resisting a closed life narrative by negating a reductive assessment of one’s history. The ambiguities of reliving memory while longing to move towards a reconciliation foster multiple temporalities of healing.>> - written by Marius Hrdy(Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival)

<<A film poem in which human consciousness intertwines with the element of water. The leitmotif flowing through the entire work is memory, the eternal clash between the urge to look back and the awareness of space and time ahead. The river flooding the film not only gives it a temporythmic structure but is also a reminder of the eternal natural order.>> - written by Ji.hlava IDFF

(Describing the moments when the body and mind become unexpectedly overwhelmed by memories. The words and sentences fragmentarily interfere; the sounds incessantly surge and disappear in a moment; the images keep moving. Unlike the title, this film is not only about the past, but is also about the future. The film explores how documentation can function as a mode of self-healing. - director’s notes)



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