Han-young, a North Korean defector, gets a license to guide Chinese tourists thanks to the language skills she acquired as a refugee in China. She works diligently but faces many challenges, from coworker rivalry to assimilation, all while desperately searching for her missing brother. The irony of Han-Young’s position is emblematic of marginalized peoples’ struggles everywhere. As a stranger in a strange land, Han-young is entrusted to show people around ancient landmarks yet she herself often gets less than respect. Seeing her always a bit detached from her surroundings is a sobering symptom of her trauma, both from having fled her homeland as well as adjusting to a new one where the welcome isn’t entirely warm.
This screening will be accompanied by a lecture on Migrant/Tourist with Dr Joseph Jeon, Director of the Center for Critical Korean Studies and Professor of English and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Irvine.
This screening will be a part of the 2024 Situations International Conference on Minor Diasporas in Asia and Beyond.