YIDFF 2007 New Asian Currents
OUT: Smashing Homophobia Project
An Interview with Lee Young, Choseok Soonae, Lee Hye Ran (Directors) Feminist Video Activism WOM

Learning by Expression

Q: This film is the sequel to Lesbian Censorship in School. Did you make this film because you wanted to continue to observe the lives of these teenage protagonists?

LY (Lee Young): While shooting material for the first film, my main goal was simply to inform people about the lives of teenage lesbians, even if the film itself was short. During the process of making that film, I was drawn deeper and deeper into the material, and I wanted to make another film to further explain their situation. I should also note that this film’s subtitle is Smashing Homophobia Project. So, in that vein, this project is also one part in a documentary series that confronts homophobia. Actually, I’m in the process of filming the third part in this series right now. In the third film, I’m planning to follow up on Chunjae, one of the protagonists of this film, and how her relationship with her mother changes.

Q: Did the three protagonists go through any emotional changes as a result of having the chance to speak about themselves for this film?

LY: After the film was completed, the three protagonists came with me to the screenings to meet and communicate with the audience. During that time, I asked them what changes they experienced. One of the young women, Chunjae, said that her mother began to accept her as a result of her appearance in this film. She said she was happy that her relationship with her mother was headed in a more positive direction. Chunjae hopes to express herself even further. She wants to become a filmmaker herself, and she is currently making her own films as a teenage lesbian. Cho-i, another of the three young women in the film, said that she was able to face herself thanks to this film. She says that she is happy that she was able to get to know herself better. Finally, Koma says that this film has given her the opportunity to get to know a wide variety of people. She found this comforting, and she gained courage through these interactions. Koma says that she is happy to have been able to develop a connection with all of those people. All three of them experienced a change by overcoming an emotional obstacle to become more open about themselves.

Q: I thought that the scenes where the three protagonists expressed themselves through rap felt new and interesting.

CS (Choseok Soonae): For these scenes, we had the teenage protagonists write the lyrics, while a lesbian in her 20s wrote the music. This lesbian woman in her 20s wanted to express herself through music, but she said she didn’t have the courage to do it. But, she was inspired when she saw these three teenage lesbians expressing themselves through their own words. This inspired her to write the music for their rap scenes. She made the music that plays during the end of the film as a message from lesbians in their 20s to teenage lesbians. Thanks to her involvement in this film, the lesbian woman in her 20s who composed the rap has changed her way of thinking and has begun to create works as an audio activist. Through this film, not just the three protagonists but also the many other people have changed. I feel like all these isolated people have become connected, bringing the world closer together. I was amazed at how much could change as the result of just one film.

(Compiled by Kawada Kozue)

Interviewers: Kawada Kozue, Tanno Emi / Interpreter: Nemoto Rie / Translator: Christopher Gregory
Photography: Suzuki Takashi / Video: Kusunose Kaori / 2007-10-07