Another screening collaboration between the KCC and Birkbeck:
Living Memories season: Under Construction (공사의 희로애락)
Jang Yunmi’s award-winning first feature reflects on the routine of construction worker Sudeok. From a captivating, careful look, as he manufactures reinforcement bars, the film gradually uncovers the physical, emotional and mental impact of his forty-year career in construction.
Jang’s compositions, as she delicately interlaces their discussions with her footage, explore the boundaries between the public and the private. On-camera interviews and phone conversations define the soundscape, and as the voices’ tonal dynamics change so does the texture of the spaces that make up the geography of the film.
A family dimension is revealed early on and remains integral to the film’s perspective throughout this portrait of a working life. The factory, a highway, building sites, Jang’s apartment, the countryside: each appear as if existing on a continuous yet ever-changing spatial spectrum in Under Construction, as Jang contemplates the consequences of the labour-centred mindset of a generation.