ASL Interpreted, Open Captions
Seung-Jun Yi / 2019 / Korean with English subtitles / South Korea / 109 min
A North Korean housewife, Ryun-hee Kim went to China to receive healthcare only to end up in South Korea trying to pay off her medical debts. Once she was discovered by South Korean authorities, she was alleged of being a North Korean spy and forced to become a South Korean citizen. Separated from her family with no hope of seeing them again, Ryun-hee starts her extensive and harrowing fight to return home. She tries to smuggle herself out of South Korea, first by seeking political asylum and then organizes protests to raise awareness about North Korean citizens trapped in South Korea against their will. Her far-reaching attempts to reunite with her family don’t stand a chance against aggressive propaganda tactics and ongoing complex politics between two countries. After seven years of continuous struggle, Ryun-hee dreads the growing distance between her and her family as their reunion seems far away and improbable.
In Shadow Flowers, viewers are invited into an observational space to question preconceived notions of what freedom grants and what oppression might look like. The polarizing narratives about North and South Korea looms above Ryun-hee Kim and her simple desire to return to family. Join the Q&A with director Seung-Jun Yi to discuss the isolating effects of being caught in liminal spaces dictated by bureaucracy as it pertains to North and South Korean relations.