About Yeong-I Park, DIRECTOR, CINEMATOGRAPHER/DP, EDITOR
Born in Japan in 1975, as a third generation Korean in Japan. Graduated from Kanagawa Korean Middle and High School, and from Korea University in Japan (majored in philosophy). Studied film and movie at the Vantan Academy. His short film “Wearing,” made for the graduation work was shown at film festivals in Japan, North and South Korea. He has participated in motion picture production of many genres since. “Sky Blue Symphony” is a master compilation of his diligent efforts capturing the Korean schools, their students and activities all over Japan for the past decade.
The Korean Schools in Japan, where Koreans born and raised in Japan attend, have a long history of discrimination and persecution. They have been exposed to violence because they have a relationship with North Korea. However, nobody has dealt with the relationship in detail. Though their roots are in South Korea, why do they call North Korea their homeland? Why do they look full of hope and tell their dreams with confidence in spite of so much hardship? I made this film to seek the answer to these questions.
This documentary mainly filmed the 2 week-long trip of the Zainichi Korean students who attend one of Japan's 60 Korean schools to North Korea (DPRK). As third and fourth generation Koreans born and raised in Japan, students' visit to their ancestral home country is profound, as captured in film through their talks, singings, and other interactions with their Korean brethren there. At Panmunjom, which is a symbolic place of the tragic division of our one Korea, looking over to the South, the land of their ancestors’ birthplaces, they are overcome by the realization of the tragedy of the war -- and the deep, indelible mark left upon their own lives and struggle with identity and belonging. What does "homeland" mean to these students, born as "alien" in the former colonial metropole, in a country that refuses to accept them as members of the only society they know to be home, and seek to reclaim their cultural and ancestral heritage through a most vilified country in the world?