The Slice Room
KOREA / 2016 / Korean / Color / Blu-ray / 69 min
Director, Photography, Editing, Source: Song Yun-hyeok
Redevelopment threatens the jjok bang, a type of housing in a certain section of Seoul populated by people who are impoverished. Il-soo and Sun-hee, who have just started living together; Nam-sung, who has difficulty obtaining welfare payments; Chan-hyun, who struggles with depression—these characters search for a way to live a dignified life as they work with a support organization, all in the midst of a society that seems to be trying to run people against a wall, especially in the jjok bang. While living there during the shoot, the director asks simple questions that reveal the shortcomings of the South Korean welfare system.
[Director’s Statement] I was born and raised in Korea. While participating in support work where I provided consultation to the city homeless, I began to want to become their mouthpiece. Even though the homeless are ever living and dying in the streets, the voice of their struggle never reaches the rest of society.
Upon witnessing the miserable poverty in Korean society, I was deeply shocked, and my heart was in pain. Something that we thought inconceivable is actually occurring in this country.
I want the chains that prevent the end of poverty to corrode. I want to do something that will unravel its tangled knots. I believe that our cameras telling their stories will at least bring a bud of hope.
People are dying on the streets even now. However, institutions seem to be perpetuating poverty—as if they intend it never to end.
Docujin will continue to wander the streets on the frontlines of poverty, recording the lives of those who are in struggle.
A participant in the work of the independent documentary group Docujin since 2010. This documentary, which tells the stories of the people living in the jjok bang (slice rooms), is his first feature-length work.