Gender Personal&POV Family
My home is still a mess despite having lived on my own for eight years. I cannot seem to grow accustomed to housekeeping and caring for myself. However, the house that my family lives in is always maintained as a “home people live in”. This is thanks to my mother, Hyojeong. Hyojeong has become the new breadwinner of the family in place of her husband, Sung. However, housework still remains her responsibility. At home, Hyojeong cares for her family and at work as a counselor, she takes care of her clients. One day, she says, “No one takes care of me.” As Hyojeong’s daughter, I attempt to take care of my family in place of Hyojeong, who wants to depart from the role of a mother. I have finally realized that Hyojeong, who has become so accustomed to taking care of someone else, needs to be taken care of as well. Can Chanyeong, who struggles to even take responsibility for herself, also take care of her mother?
Mother Care Service is an autobiographical documentary film that examines the family through the eyes of the narrator Chanyoung (the director). Chanyoung takes on the challenge of doing the “care work” that her mother has been doing, but also comes to question why she has inherited care work conventionally assigned to women. She embarks on a journey of discovering the ways a patriarchy lives within her. Chanyoung criticizes the structure in which her mother Hyojeong’s sacrifice maintains the family; however, as a daughter, she also finds that she has been taking Hyojeong’s sacrifices for granted. By examining Hyojeong’s life, Chanyeong asks herself whether she is a woman living the life she wants to live. Her response to the question is, “I want and do not want to live like my mother.” She fears that Hyojeong’s life as a dutiful daughter-in-law will become her own future. Chanyoung strives to help Hyojeong, who is often only called by her role as a mother, to retrieve her name “Kim Hyojeong”. Through this process, she attempts to overcome her fear and live an agentive life. “Care” in the true sense begins when a woman, who has become accustomed to taking care of others, realizes that it is more important to
take care of oneself.