Off Busan film festival, around Hanjin’s crane

It’s my first report from Busan film festival, but lets say it will be more about just Busan, and more precisely the events happening here related to the strike at Hanjin factories. It’s also the first time for me to post my film and the film of a friend here, instead of text, because that’s the best way to give news of what happened here. And afterall, it’s still about film.

So, ladies first, here’s first a short film my friend Park Sungmi made about the events. It’s a wonderful animation in Lego. I’ve helped her to make the crane in Lego. The film is a huge hit online thanks to Twitter, and there will be an updated version soon :

And here is my film, kind of experimental documentary :

I took these images in Busan, Korea, on october 8th. Some filmmakers and people related to movies took buses to see the female worker Kim Jin-suk, who’s occupying a crane of her factory, Hanjin, since more than 8 months (from beginning january).

As a former journalist, I wanted to see directly on the spot. So I had the opportunity to go with these people in their bus, thanks to a friend.
What I’ve seen, confirmed me that i was on a side which fitted me, the right side I think. It’s easy to see which side to choose in this matter : the one of poor workers and friends who told me about it, or the one of the police under the orders of a very conservative government.

I cannot say policemen were acting in a bad way. There were even quite kind. But there were not on the side which makes history, they were, as so often, on the « counter-side ». And when the camera were away, they started the usual beating of demonstrators, notably with water canons.

I filmed what I could with my cellphone, then my Canon DSLR. As I had filmed things before on that day and didn’t planned how far the event could go (the situation lasted for hours), I feared to run out of battery and memory. I indeed ran out of both on my cell phone, even if at the beginning, to prevent that, I shot in low quality.
At night, I didn’t have the choice but to film in the highest quality. Then I shot with the Canon DSLR, but it’s not easy to use it as a reportage camera. The good thing is that it makes a progression in the image quality.

At the editing, I decided to skip all dialogue except one, because I wanted to make these images more universal, focused on symbols and faces. Actually very few was said, especially on the police side, and the sound without dialogue you can hear is the real sound. Meaning sometimes there was an entire minute without anybody speaking. I’ve enhanced this silence with sometimes no sound at all.

During all this event, I wanted to stay an external viewer, a filmmaker. I’ve seen and heard much more than what is here, but basically I didn’t understand what was exactly going on when I was there, so I wanted to transmit the same feeling to the viewer. What is clear is what we see : an absurd situation, and at the end, the poetic symbol of a fascinating crane who’s triggering all this fuss.

The music is from a korean band I knew and agreed to the use of their work for the video. I thought its mood and rhythm fit perfectly to the edit.


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