Soshin: In Your Dreams
AUSTRALIA / 1999 / Korean, English / Color / Video / 26 min
Director, Script, Narrator, Producer: Melissa Kyu-jung Lee
Photography: Mark Lapwood
Editing: Anna Craney, Chung Yoon-chul
Sound: Katy Wood
Music: Ilan Kidron
Production, Source: Australian Film Television and Radio School
c/o Ruth Saunders
P.O. Box 126, North Ryde NSW 1670 AUSTRALIA
Phone: 61-2-9805-6455 Fax: 61-2-9805-6563
After the Korean War, the filmmaker’s Korean parents left their homeland for Australia, a new haven. But Melissa felt choked by her childhood under their strict discipline. They did not speak for seven years, until she returned to Australia from Europe to study filmmaking. This film is an “A-student’s” love letter of reconciliation addressed to her very Korean parents. But to uncover the filmmaker’s true double identity, being Korean AND Australian, the film must be seen together with A True Story About Love.
A True Story about Love
AUSTRALIA / 2001 / English / Color / Video / 27 min
Director, Photography, Script, Narrator, Producer: Melissa Kyu-jung Lee
Editing: Stafford Wales
Sound: Phil Myers
Music: Kylie Burtland
Production, Source: Australian Film Television & Radio School
Invited to the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival, Melissa decides to make a documentary about Korean-American filmmakers. Instead, she ends up romantically involved—with two different Asian-American men! A personal, probing,and fun-loving film that raises issues about Asian men, sexual identity, and notions of “truth” and ethics in documentary filmmaking.
[Directors Statement] Telling my parents about my decision to become a filmmaker was like telling them I wanted to become a professional party animal. They couldn’t believe they’d sacrificed their lives for me to pursue a life of decadence and hedonism. Maybe they could have accepted my decision to become a podiatrist instead of a doctor. A tax agent instead of a lawyer. But filmmaking? (Shriek!!) Don’t you know the film industry’s full of sex, drugs and degenerate people? I grew up in a strict, conservative and protective family. I left home at an early age, making hamburgers and washing dishes to support myself through high school. I worked full-time for a while before travelling to Europe and settling in Amsterdam for a couple of years. It wasn’t until I returned to Australia to study at university that my parents and I started speaking again.
The making of Soshin: In Your Dreams was a positive and enlightening experience for both myself and my parents. They realized that filmmaking isn’t all fun and games, and my own realizations are too numerous to explain in a few sentences. My parents haven’t yet seen my most recent film, A True Story about Love. I feel apprehensive about their reaction and worry that it may be detrimental to our recently reconciled relationship.
Melissa Kyu-jung Lee
Born in Seoul and spent her childhood in Seoul, Tehran and Sydney. Settled down in 1994 to pursue a career in filmmaking. After completing a BA in Communications at the University of Technology, Sydney, she directed her first documentary Mary’s Place. In 2001, graduated with an MA (Honours) from the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS). During her time at AFTRS, made five projects including Soshin: In Your Dreams and A True Story About Love, and won several awards. Currently developing several new film projects.