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Shadow Flowers
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Shadow Flowers
IDFA 2019

Shadow Flowers

Seung-Jun Yi
South Korea
2019
109 min
International Premiere
Festival history

The North Korean Ryun-hee Kim unwittingly ended up in South Korea in 2011. Returning to the neighboring enemy country turns out to be more difficult than expected.

The camera follows Ryun-hee as she goes about her life in the capitalist South, far from her husband, daughter and frail parents. She’s mostly focused on various strategies to get out of South Korea. She goes to the Vietnamese Embassy to apply for political asylum, and during the 2017 Ice Hockey World Cup she runs up to the bus waiting for the North Korean team. She even starts spying in the hope of being extradited, but the South Korean government won’t let her go. When the tensions between the two countries start to relax, there’s a glimmer of hope, but then her situation becomes hopeless again. We follow Ryun-hee through all these ups and downs.

After years of bureaucratic wrangling, she gets a South Korean passport—along with a travel ban that gets extended every month. A disturbing story that turns our ideas about North and South Korea on their head.

Credits
Director
Cinematography
    Seung-Jun Yi,
    Mika Mattila,
    Hyuck-Ji Park,
    Hyo Bong Jang
Editing
World Sales
    Taskovski Films
    Taskovski Films
Screening copy
    Bluebird Pictures
    Bluebird Pictures

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