New Asian Currents [KOREA]

Family Project: House of a Father

Kajok Project

- KOREA / 2002 / Korean / Color / Video / 52 min

Director, Script, Photography, Editing, Sound, Narrator, Producer: Jo Yun-kyung
Music: Jo Yun-kyung, Kang Hye-young
Production Company, Source: Yun Jo Production
522 Greenwood St. #GW. Evanston, Illinois, 60201
Phone: 1-847-864-8794
E-mail: Humoosss@yahoo.com

A typical Korean family in crisis. Father lost his job in the I.M.F. recession. The eldest of six siblings, he had dedicated his life to being the backbone of the extended family. Mother gave up her dream job as a TV anchor to get married. Through thirty years of wedlock she endured abuse from her in-laws—a father fixated on his masculinity, a mother regretting a life of self-sacrifice. They reach old age and are confronted by their three grown-up children. With respect for her parents, their U.S.-educated daughter examines today’s traditional patriarchy.

-[Director’s Statement] It took three years for me to finish this documentary. The traditional Korean family structure has been a problematic issue for me. I grew up watching my mother forced to sacrifice herself for the sake of her in-laws. Everybody has taken this for granted and criticized her achievements. There has been my father in the middle of it. He rules over his wife and children, without having any conversation with them in depth. He hasn’t seemed to belong to this household except for larger values such as extended family and outside work.

I found this to be very common in other Korean families. My family story is historical as well as personal. This documentary is about “sad masculinity” which causes distorted relationships in Korean families. I want to share this story with other families who suffer in the same way as my family.

- Jo Yun-kyung

Studied sociology at Seoul National University, and received M.F.A. degree in film, video and new media from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Main interests are the subjects of family and gender. First student film was a video documentary about childcare, followed by A Lullaby (1998) and Lost Tree (1999). Has also worked on video installation pieces, such as An Experiment on Gender and Gesture (2001), which was shown in many galleries in Seoul and Chicago. Video documentary Family Project: House of a Father has been screened at numerous film festivals and was awarded the Grand Prize at the Women’s Film Festival in Seoul.

• New Asian Currents | Sand and Water | Wellspring | Three-Five People | Homesick | The Circle’s Corner | The Maze of Lanes | Nee Engey—Where Are You | NEW (IMPROVED) DELHI—Director’s Cut | A Night of Prophecy | 150 Seconds Ago | The Ballad of Life | Noah’s Ark | The Old Man of Hara | Dandelion | Hibakusha—At the End of the World | 3rd Vol.2—2 Light House | And Thereafter | Dust Buries Sabuk | Family Project: House of a Father | Edit | Gina Kim’s Video Diary | Ordo | Her and Him Van Leo | The Big Durian | Perpetual Motion | Debris | Hard Good Life | Nail | The Rhythm in Wulu Village | A Short Journey • Jurors | Kim Dong-won | Kawase Naomi • New Asian Currents Special | Part 1 | Part 2