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DMZ Docs Projects



Post Returned

CHA Jea-min

  • Korea
  • 70min
  • mov

Arts&Culture Environment&Nature Social&Human Interest

Synopsis

In Korea, more than 15,000 people commit suicide every year, and around 300,000 have lost their lives due to suicide during the past decade. Currently, there are more than 1.2 million surviving families of suicide, and it is left to these remaining people to try and understand why it happened. Post Returned collects stories by asking a simple question: “why did they kill themselves?” The answers to this question are layered with memories, speculations, distortion, romanticization and pure fiction, all coming together to create a certain portrait of suicide. While these ambiguous stories are unveiled, a truck loaded with ‘farmed trees’ runs along the highway. A ‘farmed tree’ is a tree grown in a commercialized farming system, which is later relocated to a street side in a city. The camera follows the life of this 'farmed tree,’ while also passing by places that seem to be where suicides happened. A series of performed scenes intervene the landscapes, proposing the psychological landscape of Korean society.​

Review

Korea had the highest suicide rate among OECD countries from 2003 to 2015. This consistency leads us to think that depression and suicide can be explained not only at the individual level but also at the societal level, such as shared values and living environments. Post Returned begins with the premise that investigating the common notion of suicide in Korea will reveal these intricate relationships between the individual and the social, an area where statistics cannot shed light. This film will focus on how the responsibility for so-called mental health constantly shifts between the individual and society, how the remaining people recreate suicides and their reasons into their own narratives, and whether and how these narratives share the patterns of exaggeration and reduction based on common notions. Rather than proclaiming objectivity, Post Returned will approach suicide by way of ambiguity and fiction, as the remaining people do. This quasi-portrait of suicide, formed by multiple perspectives and accounts, will serve as a document of the psychological landscape of Korean society. Moreover, in order to shift from predictable film language, the film will actively incorporate moving images and the arts.​​

Director

  • CHA Jea-min

    Born in Republic of Korea in 1986, and studied fine art at Korean National University of Arts (BA). She also studied at Chelsea College of Art and Design (MA), London. She currently lives and works in Seoul. Fog and Smoke (2013) Labyrinth and Chroma-key (2013) Trot, Trio, Waltz (2013)​ 

Credit

  • Producer이지원 LEE Jiwon, 박봉구 BARK Bongu