A few years back, filmmaker Min Sook Lee set out to make a little film, Tiger Spirit, about one man’s quest to prove that the tiger, a symbol of resilience in Korean mythology, still lives in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Korea. The film evolved into an exploration of families who were divided by the DMZ and ended up being a film about Korea, families and some heartbreaking reunions.
That little film premiered at Hot Docs in Toronto in 2008 and since then has enjoyed a good life on the festival circuit and in screenings. But unlike many such films, this one didn’t go away. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that the film unapologetically comes at the issue from a woman’s perspective… a pregnant woman, no less. Or maybe it’s just the intensely personal nature of the narrative.
Whatever the case, the film is still going strong and is now enjoying its second round of festivals. It’s played in San Francisco and South Africa, and is slated to screen in Berlin, San Diego, Washington, DC, St. John’s and Glasgow. The film was also nominated for a 2009 Gemini, the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary Program.
So if you get a chance, you should check out the film and see what all the fuss is about. And until then, read this great interview with Lee from Blog TO.