01 Oct Q&A WITH HOSUP LEE, DIRECTOR OF AND THEREAFTER
LEE ANN KIM: WHERE DID YOU GET THE TITLE, AND THEREAFTER? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
HOSUP LEE: I am a very curious person. Whenever there is a historical event, I am always curious about what happened next, when I saw an old picture of a Korean war bride who marries an American GI and looked happy, I became curious about what happened to her next. The title of my film came from that.
KIM: THIS IS A VERY POWERFUL FILM. WHY DID YOU DECIDE ON THIS SUBJECT OF KOREAN WAR BRIDES?
LEE: 2003 is the 100th anniversary of Korean American immigration. When I was reading Korean American immigration history, I found out that there are not many records of war brides. I began to research on that issue and started the film.
KIM: HOW DID YOU FIND THE WIKE FAMILY, AND HOW DID YOU CONVINCE THEM TO GIVE YOU SO MUCH ACCESS INTO THEIR LIVES?
LEE: I met more than 100 war brides before I met Mrs. Wike. they all had interesting stories, but they didn’t inspire me, When I met Mrs. Wike I found her different. Most of ll she wanted to tell her story. It is as if she was waiting for me for a long time. Other family members, of course, did not like me, but gradually accepted me over the three years I was filming them.
KIM: YOU WERE NOTICEABLY ABSENT FROM THE DOCUMENTARY. NO NARRATION, NO TWO SHOTS OF YOU WITH THE FAMILY. WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY WHEN DOCUMENTING A SUBJECT?
LEE: When I was in Korea, i made documentaries for tv stations. Korean television documentaries are very educational and explanatory. I hated that format. I knew that audiences can make their decisions without explanations from filmmakers. I intentionally made myself absent so that audiences can feel her directly.
KIM: WAS IT HARD FOR YOU NOT TO GET INVOLVED WHEN YOU SAW HOW POORLY MARKS. WIKE WAS BEING TREATED?
LEE: I don’t think that she wanted me to involved, Mrs. Wike thinks that she is responsible for her children’s problems. That is a traditional Korean mother’s attitude. Americans may find it difficult to understand. Even i cannot understand her attitude. I think her attitude made her children more spoiled. After I showed this film in Korea, several organizations invited her. She didn’t accept it, because she worried about her children.
KIM: WHAT’S YOUR NEXT PROJECT?
LEE : AND THEREAFTER is a trilogy. I found that there are many Koreans women who married American GI. I planned trilogy for different time periods. Currently I am making “and thereafter II” about an ex-prostitute who used to serve American GI in Korea after the Korean War.
KIM: TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW.
LEE: I am a very boring person. This is enough reason that I cannot answer this question.