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One Way, or “the Other”: Asian American Film and Video

Friday, November 2, 2007
7:00 p.m. Invisible Light
Gina Kim (U.S./South Korea, 2003)

In this keenly insightful diptych, two anguished women intersect like vehicles careening off a guardrail. The nexus is a phone message left for Gah-in, a young Korean student stranded in Southern California, by Do-hee, whose husband has had an affair with the former. Remorseful over the illicit liaison, Gah-in mopes about her cheerless apartment, compulsively consuming whatever food she can find (a feat of remarkable athleticism on the part of actress Choi Yoon Sun). Half a world away, we find Do-hee (Lee Sun-jin) in Korea, having left her husband, betrayed by him and pregnant by another. She too is in a state of incandescent despair, seeking solace in serendipitous encounters. Often compared to Chantal Akerman’s films, Invisible Light relies on the sustained attention of the camera, capturing through temporal exposure the subtle details of emotion. Gina Kim’s first feature is a scrupulous and illuminating portrait, casting light on the darkness of very human hearts.

—Steve Seid

• Written by Kim. Photographed by Peter Gray, Benito Strangio. With Choi Yoon Sun, Lee Sun-jin, Jung Chan. (78 mins, Color, 35mm, From Gina Kim)

Preceded by short:
Sally’s Beauty Spot (Helen Lee, Canada/U.S., 1990). A discrete mole on a woman’s breast becomes the crucial metaphor for Asian femininity. (12 mins, Color, 16mm, From Women Make Movies)

• (Total running time: 90 mins)