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KIM Dong-ryung, PARK Kyoung-tae
Synopsis Program Note
There remains only silence in a US military camp town in the northern part of Kyounggi province which will be pulled down any time soon. In the town, three women are still living with pains engraved in their bodies. Aunt Bobby who used to make burgers in Seonyu-ri for 30 years; Ms. Insoon Park who used to collect scraps and draw paintings on them in the abandoned narrow alleys of Bbat-bul, Uijeongbu; and Ms. Sungja Ahn who is half-Korean and half-African American. Following the pieces of their memories, the film ‘Tour of Duty’ into the forgotten town to reveal the truth left behind.
Tour of Duty is a film about a military camp town in northern Gyeonggi Province and three women who live with scars related to the town. The town had been formed collectively around the American military base, but it is now being collectively obliterated in modern day Korea. In many parts of the town, the life and history of objectified women called “yang saeksi(Western girls)” have been abandoned. The history that is only remembered by those who experienced it is now gradually fading away without even making a sound.
In the first part of the film, the camera is fixed, allowing the audience to experience the slow movement, temporality, and the weight of the scars on the two old women. They remain silent or speak inaudibly for the most part. The low vibration of their speech resonates beautifully yet sorrowfully with the pictures drawn on waste paper and a brawl that takes place deep in the woods. The directors who have captured women in prostitution at military camp towns in films such as American Alley and Me and Owl , once again unravel their consciousness of the issues that they have investigated for a long time. The poetic aestheticism of the camera work, observing the situation and the people for a long time in the film, is outstanding, just as much as the thematic consciousness and the relationship between the camera and the object being filmed. [HONG So-in]
KIM Dong-ryungKIM Dong-ryung
Graduated from Ewha Womans University with a degree in English Language and Literature, and studied filmmaking at the Korean Academy of Film Arts. Since 2011, she’s studying film at Université Paris VIII. KIM Dong-ryung directed American Alley(2008), a feature-length documentary about foreign women working as entertainers in the US military camp sites, and won an Ogawa Shinsuke Prize at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival.
PARK Kyoung-taePARK Kyoung-tae
Graduated from Dongguk University with a master degree in Sociology. Since 2011, he’s studying film at Université Paris VIII. PARK Kyoung-tae has built up an intimate perspective on survivors of the camp sites through his documentaries Me and the Owl(2003) and There is(2006). Sadang-dong + 22 that he co-directed was presented at IWFFIS.