»I tried to weave the raging storm of chauvinism in with the life of those who are marginalised in society. When I see people who openly vent their hatred and yell at me: ›You’re ruining this country.‹, then I worry about the impact of this hatred on an individual’s life. What makes life in a marginalised group within our society liveable if hatred penetrates right into our day-to-day environment?«
– Young Lee
Homosexuality is legal in South Korea, but same-sex marriages or registered partnerships are not, and there is also no legal protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation. The military court can and does threaten the practice of homosexuality with punishment through imprisonment. That is the official position. »You don’t belong in this world.« – At the time this film was made, being insulted on the street was part of the everyday life of the director. Lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender people and other gay people are called »pro-North Korean Communists«, labelled, branded and thus excluded. Young Lee felt confronted with a lot of hatred. Driven by the question of how people cope with their experiences of homophobia and transphobia, she sets off on a journey through her native country. She meets 70-year-old Lee Muk, who talks of life as »Mister Pants« and »Madame Skirt«. And she meets lesbian couple Ten and Non who after the Fukushima disaster question the security, or precariousness, of a shared life together. This unusual road movie reflects on hatred, homophobia and transphobia from a lesbian perspective.
Since founding the documentary film collective WOM Docs (Feminist Visual Activism WOM), Lee’s work has spanned documentary filmmaking, film education and media policy. Her films have attracted wide public interest in Korean society. She frequently explores documentary- style film-making, portraying the interaction of social events with individuals’ daily life, as in Troublers. Her film Out won the Documentary Award at the Seoul International Women’s Film Festival as well as the This Year’s Prize at the Human Rights Film Festival in Seoul.
Films by Young Lee
Out 2007 | Lesbian Censorship in School 2005 | Knife Style 2003 | Turtle Sisters 2002 | Sangam-dong World Cup 1999