ABSTRACT

This chapter deals with personal documentaries on filmmaker’s fathers, whose reluctance to share their painful experiences caused by the ideologically divisive circumstances in the Korean peninsula prompts a postmemory generation of filmmakers to track down belated written text, archives, and interviews to reconstruct the experience of their older generation. In Jaehee Hong’s My Father’s Emails (2012, premiered in 2014) and Yonghi Yang’s Dear Pongyang (2005, Released in 2006), the younger generation’s understanding of family history and the Korean War is very obscured and limited—the situation that is similar to that of the postmemory generation in Hirsch’s theory. Therefore, these documentaries about their fathers epitomize the postmemory generation’s efforts to come to terms with and to reconcile with repressed historic memories of the war in the family by introducing even fictional and imaginary elements in documentary films. More importantly, unlike South Korean blockbuster films of the Korean War such as Joint Security Area (2000) and Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War (2003), which usually revolved around battle scenes and emotional bonds among men, these films concentrate on women’s perspectives and experiences in remembering the War of their fathers’ generations.