JIFF Interview with filmmaker Shin Dong-min

June 17, 2023 | 2735 Visits

There aren’t many films where a mother is cast to play herself and versions of herself in her son’s films. And there’s certainly even less where she gets to play herself twice in roles that are both wish fulfillment, and homage to her, her heritage, and the things she misses and longed for. In his second feature length film From You, which screened at the 2023 Jeonju International Film Festival, winning the Grand Prize in the Korean Competition, Korean filmmaker Shin Dong-min does all of this and so much more for his mother Kim Hye-jeong.

As a follow-up to his 2020 drama Mom’s Song, Shin turns the world from color to black and white in an effort to strip his characters and their reality down to their bare essence. Exposing the discontent of fashion student Min-ju (Kang Min-ju) with her current path and relationship with her mother, to aspiring actress Seung-ju (Lee Kum-ju) whose dreams cause her to question her future in way many women can relate to. In the third chapter, Hye-jeong and Dong-min step into their past, narratively breaking the forth wall to confess their feelings about the loss of Dong-min’s father and it affected the way they think about their past now.

In our interview, I ask Shin about the way his film style allows the characters and their struggles and concerns to be the main focus of the story, and what being able to make films with and for his mother means to him as a son and as a filmmaker.

 

Carolyn Hinds

Freelance Critic, Journalist & Podcaster
African American Film Critics Association Member, Tomatometer-Approved Critic
Co-Host & Producer So Here’s What Happened! Podcast
Bylines at http://Authory.com/CarolynHinds
Phone: (647)216 – 5283
Twitter & Instagram: @CarrieCnh12

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