Seeking Haven – Surviving in the Shadow of your Alter ego / Seeking Haven – Surviving in the Shadow of your Alter ego

country, year

South Korea/France, 2012

genre

documentary

running time

52′

directed by

Harkjoon Lee & Dongkyun Ko & Hein S. Seok

language

Korean, Japanese, English

subtitles

English

synopsis

23-year old Youngsoon is a North Korean girl now living in the south. In 2007, she and her sister Mihee lived in hiding in China. While Youngsoon managed to escape to South Korea, her sister was arrested by the Chinese authorities and repatriated to North Korea. Ever since, Youngsoon has been determined to arrange her sister’s escape. She hires a broker who enters North Korea: but the news he brings back is devastating: Mihee is being held in a high security political prison camp under charges of treason. Youngsoon’s attempt to organize the escape of her father also fails. She is left with little hope and is yet to learn how to cope with these uncertainties. Maybe she’ll find a solution in far away New Zealand…?

about the author

Harkjoon Lee currently resides in the only country in the world that is still divided into two. Korea’s complex history is the reason Lee became interested in war, refugee, and human rights issues. From 1999, Lee worked as newspaper reporter and documentary producer. In 2007, he produced and directed a series called Our Asia, which focused on poverty throughout Asia. He also produced and directed On the Border, a documentary about North Korean defectors. The PBS version of On the Border has been nominated for an Emmy. Lee also worked as Afghanistan war correspondent (2001) and reported on the civilian massacres that occurred during the Korean War (2002). He received numerous prestigious awards including Korean Reporter of the Year, the 2008 Grand Prix at the Camera Obscura Awards, a Special Recognition from the International Parliamentarians’ Coalition for the North Korean Refugees’ Human Rights (IPCNKR), and the 2008 Korea Journalists’ Award.

Filmography: Across Land, Across Sea (Producer, Director; 2012), Crossing Three Borders (Producer, Director; 2012), Seeking Haven (Producer, Director; 2012), On the Border (Producer, Director; 2008), Age of Military – DMZ (Producer, Director; 2008), Our Asia (Producer, Director; 2007)

Hein S. Seok was born in Philadelphia but spent half of her childhood in South Korea. After returning to the United States, she double-majored in Art History and Film & TV at New York University‘s Tisch School of the Arts. She earned her Master’s degree at California Institute of the Arts. She was then awarded the 2006 Fulbright Fellowship to Korea. Her graduate thesis was the feature-length film The House of Sharing, which screened at Walt Disney Concert Hall (RedCat Theater), DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival, San Diego Asian American Film festival, GiRL FeST, and We the Peoples Film Festival. The House of Sharing is the first film of Two Fish Pictures, a documentary production company based in New Jersey. She has recently finished three documentaries on North Korean defectors, Crossing the Line.

Filmography: Across Land, Across Sea (Producer, Director; 2012), Crossing Three Borders (Producer, Director; 2012), Seeking Haven (Producer, Director; 2012), StarCraft Nation (Producer, Director; 2009), Divided Families (Producer; 2010), The House of Sharing (Producer, Director; 2008)

Dongkyun Ko majored in Korean literature at Konkuk university. He always had unusual interest in politics. In 2003, Ko served as an editor-in-chief for the first internet newspaper in Korea, Ddanzi Daily. He was also the founding member of the first Korean parody news broadcast company in 2004, for which he received the Internet News Reporter Award. In 2008, Ko worked as a writer on On the Border. He still has immense interest in politics and wishes for the peaceful reunification of the two Koreas.

Filmography: Across Land, Across Sea (Director; 2012), Crossing Three Borders (Director;

2012), Seeking Haven (Director; 2012), On the Border (Writer; 2008), Age of Military – DMZ

(Writer; 2008)