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The Way We Wait

(2020, 11’ 05”) a short documentary  


Desperately building against the inevitability of time, a restless young woman is awaiting another upcoming loss. But maybe more important things never seem to be told.

Soon after the director moves into her 22nd house, she gets a phone call that her Grandma, who lives far away, is in a critical condition. Elsewhere, a huge apartment made of sand is being constructed as the tide rolls in, while she belatedly tries to build a relationship with her Gran. As the camera sensitively observes how we wait for the upcoming days, the film embraces the fragility of life, full of uncertainty. 

[우리가 기다리는 동안에] 또 다른 상실을 기다리는 동안, 한 여자가 집요하게 무언가를 쌓아올리고 있다. 하지만 빠르게 흐르는 시간을 따라 많은 것들이 쉽게 부서지고 있다. 아마도 더 중요한 것들은 말해지지 않는 것만 같다.

22번째 이사를 한 감독. 그녀는 멀리 계신 외할머니가 갑자기 위독해졌다는 소식을 듣는다. 감독이 뒤늦게 할머니와의 관계를 쌓아가는 동안, 어디선가 모래로 만든 아파트가 지어지고 있다. 다가오는 것들을 기다리는 시간. 카메라는 그 모습을 지켜보며 불확실한 것들로 가득 찬 삶의 연약함을 매만진다.

(By connecting the distant future and the distant past, I tried to overcome the sense of loss or uncertainty from the present. This film is about upcoming loss, but it’s also about hope. Even though the sense of loss is always with us, by observing it, I wanted to share that life is not that futile or empty. This film was mostly based on intuitive decision making, and I think that's one of the most important elements in documentaries. It's a personal film, but I think it can be read in various ways depending on the audience's own situations and their own experiences.)

(아주 먼 미래와 먼 과거를 연결 지으며, 그 커다란 시간에 기대어 현재의 상실감이나 불확실함 등을 극복하려고 했다. 이 영화는 다가오는 상실에 대한 영화이지만 동시에 희망에 대한 영화이기도 하다. 상실은 언제나 우리와 함께하지만, 그 과정을 바라보며 삶이 그렇게 허무하지만은 않을 거라는 걸 공유하고 싶었다. 이 영화는 주로 직감에 의한 의사결정을 바탕으로 만들어졌다. 그리고 나는 그 직감이 다큐멘터리에 있어서 가장 중요한 요소 중 하나라고 생각한다. 또한 개인적인 영화이지만, 관객 각자의 상황이나 경험에 따라 매우 다양하게 읽힐 수 있다고 생각한다.)

- Open City Doc Festival 2020, London, UK, Between Generations (UK Short Film Award Nominee) Sept 12, World Premiere
- DMZ Docs 2020, Goyang, South Korea, Short Competition (Short Documentary Award Winner) Programme Note Sept 20
- Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2020, York, UK, Official Selection, Artists’ Film-memory(p. 198~199) Nov 6
- IDFA 2020, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Official Selection, Student Documentary Competition Nov 21 

- Cairo Int'l Film Festival 2020, Cairo, Egypt, Cinema of Tomorrow (Special Jury Award&Youssef Chahin Award Nominee) Dec 7
- Future Now Symposium 2021 by Aesthetica Magazine, York, UK, selected for the Guest Programmes, Apr 28
- AFI Docs 2021, Silver Spring, Maryland and Washington, D.C, US, Short Film Competition June 23
- Otherfield Film Festival 2021, Laughton Lodge, East Sussex, UK, Emerging and Short Films July 31 
Equinoxio Film Festival 2021, Bogotá, Colombia, Celestial Bodies curatorial line(Official Competition) Sept 17
*the film is preserved at the Korean Film Archive  

*find the film on mubi  *introduction to the film  *the cinematographer’s site

Young-Ja Kim and Tae-Yeon Kang / Director, Producer and Editor: Ji-Yoon Park / Executive Producer: Emma Davie (Edinburgh College of Art) / Cinematography by Julian Triandafyllou and Ji-Yoon Park / Sand Sculptor: Jack Handscombe / Fortune Teller: Seung-Hee Hong / Supervising Producer and Colour Grader: Julian Triandafyllou / Sound Recording: Simon Howard, Ji-Yoon Park / Sound Design: Simon Howard / Production Assistant: Theo Panagopoulos / Special Thanks to: Elena Georgieva / Poster and Title Design: Jorge Miksi

*영화를 만들고 쓴 에세이 (KOR)  *Reflective Essay on the Film (ENG)  *sound recordings for the film 


<<Hearing upon the news that her grandmother is in a critical condition, the director juxtaposes her grandmother’s footage and the process that a small sand apartment is built on a quiet beach. There may not be any logical relevance between the two images. However, a loose correspondence can be found in building a relationship in a limited time before death and building a sand house that will soon be collapsed. The two images aren’t just what they appear to be but represent an attempt to compensate for the loss in her absence in the future while the completed sand building alludes to the fact the grains of sand will be swept away by the waves. The film attempts to perceive the external from the personal, and the incompleteness of the present from the present reality.>> - written by Lee Minho(DMZ Docs) 

<<Shortly after moving into her 22nd house, Ji-Yoon Park receives a call: far away her grandmother is in the hospital, in critical condition. Too late, the director realizes that she should have nurtured her relationship with her grandmother earlier. “I’ve always been chased by time,” the restless young woman says. “I’ve needed to run harder not to be swallowed.” Now, she doesn’t know how to spend time with her grandmother. “So I was left holding the camera.” In parallel with scenes at the hospital, on the seashore an apartment building is being sculpted from sand—in vain, as its destruction is inevitable. The tide is approaching and slowly nibbling at the foundations. This house of sand mirrors events at the hospital. Sensitively observing as she awaits the imminent loss, the filmmaker embraces the fragility of life, with all its uncertainty. “What I grasp today, easily shatters tomorrow.”>> - written by IDFA

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