2009 Program Detail »

Tiger Spirit

Tiger Spirit

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Tiger Spirit

Tiger Spirit

Directed by: Min Sook Lee
Runtime: 78 min
Year: 2008
Country: Canada
Website: Official Site

Korean Canadian documentarian Min Sook Lee takes us on a remarkable journey into the heart of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and the divided world of the two Koreas. Tiger Spirit, Lee’s third feature-length film, is a riveting piece of work that offers an engaging and unique look into the true “Tiger Spirit” of the Land of Morning Calm — a place that remains divided by a border yet is still bound together by memories, national pride and family ties.

By joining one man’s quest to locate tigers, a spiritual symbol of Korea known to roam about the DMZ, Lee is able to capture never-before-seen footage of North Korea, including a joint Korean industrial project and a North Korean sanctioned family reunion. From the South, Lee documents personal narratives of families torn apart by war, especially elderly Koreans who have not seen their relatives for over 50 years, and defectors who survived the escape from the North and are now living in the South yet continue to be haunted by the ghosts of Kim Jong-il’s regime.

Tiger Spirit is a tale of the human spirit and of the bonds of brotherhood. Through this poetic expression on reunion and closure, Lee offers much-needed perspective on the human toll left behind in the wake of political footwork between the two Koreas, which continues to serve as a barrier to the possibility of reunification today.
—Christian Oh


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