Hyun kyung Kim
Republic of Korea (South Korea), United States | 2023 | 84 min
World premiere
Languages : Korean, English
Subtitles : French, English

Special Jury Award offered by Région de Nyon
Combining a humorous and affectionate family portrait, a historical film and a search for identity, Defectors confronts the impact of the Korean War on different generations. Through encounters with a North Korean defector, Hyun kyung Kim reflects on her separation from her loved ones — such as her whimsical mother, whom she left behind in Korea upon moving to the United States.

Now based in the United States, South Korean filmmaker Hyun kyung Kim grew up with the inherited burden of the Korean War, a conflict that left an indelible mark on her family and country. Over the years, her mother has compulsively filled the house with items she finds on the streets of Seoul – in order to want for nothing in case of a potential future conflict – while her veteran father devours books about the war. Hyun kyung Kim's encounter with a North Korean defector brings back family memories while mirroring the story of her grandfather, who likely stayed in the North when the country was divided. With rare emotion and sensitivity, the director confronts the impact of the war on several generations while revealing the weight it still exerts to this day. Part family portrait, part historical film and part quest for identity, Defectors offers a poignant perspective on the collective wound inflicted by the war and questions what it means to be separated from those you love.

Alice Riva

Defectors, 2023
Special Annie, 2015
Floating Weeds, 2010
What Are We Waiting For?, 2005


Hyun kyung Kim
Nicholas Natale
Hyun kyung Kim
Hyun kyung KimRoss McElwee
Sales contact
Hyun kyung Kimberrymars@gmail.com+16179557657

International Feature Film Competition

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