6:47 pm - 04/18/2019

Yi Seung-jun's Documentary "In the Absence" About Sewol Tragedy (CW)

"In the Absence is an unflinching look at the Sewol ferry disaster in South Korea. Employing extensive archival material and in-depth historical research, it tells the story of the Sewol, a ferry that capsized and sank in the Yellow Sea on 16 April 2014, killing more than 300 people, mostly high school students on a field trip. Visual and audio material gathered at the time is integrated with new footage to create what is both a compelling narrative and a valuable historical document." CONTENT WARNING: This doc features footage from inside the ferry/its passengers and real time footage as it sank (though nothing inside the cabin of people as it was sinking).

Winner of the World Press Photo 2019 Digital Storytelling Contest, Long

source: The New Yorker
vintage_boom 18th-Apr-2019 11:09 pm (UTC)
the short is really well done and respectful of the deceased and their families. the amount of work civilians had to do because the government completely failed them. the editing timing what was happening at the ferry and what was happening bureaucratically is really something else.

EDIT: also Asian Boss posted another documentary called "Crossroads" but it was made by a british white man so I didn't include it in the post. It's here > https://youtu.be/8mplzyDTpLA

Edited at 2019-04-18 11:28 pm (UTC)
ty 19th-Apr-2019 02:15 am (UTC)
This is so tragic. The videos they released of the kids just believing it would all be okay kill my heart.

genesisgrey 19th-Apr-2019 12:11 am (UTC)
That made me cry... Ugh. My heart hurts. But it's really well made on something so tragic.
digitalqueen 19th-Apr-2019 12:30 am (UTC)
i watched it this morning. it was so infuriating how they were more worried about filming the scene than about rescuing people, like this dude really saying it's a shame the helicopter couldn't land on the ship cause that would've looked great
lightframes 19th-Apr-2019 03:21 am (UTC)
This was really difficult to watch.

The civilian divers were really brave. I can't believe some of the answers the officials were giving out at those hearings. My heart breaks for those families. Those kids should still be alive.
pseudo_shigure 19th-Apr-2019 05:12 am (UTC)
i can't watch this knowing there's real footage from the ship. i just can't help keep thinking about those kids and people wasting hours inside the ship thinking, hoping they're gonna be saved.
synatri 19th-Apr-2019 06:09 am (UTC)
the way the government and the coast guard handled the situation is insulting to the point of absurdity, lmao. y'all are really more concerned with how the situation looks than actually getting in there and getting people out!
nekokonneko 19th-Apr-2019 07:26 am (UTC)
I thought I had hit the peak of my disgust and anger with the diving bell documentary. Not even close. I had to move away my laptop so I wouldn't hit it in a fit once the coast guard started talking about how how nice it would've looked for a helicopter landing on the deck and how they have to pretend to pump air just because the president was watching.

My heart aches so much for those parents who told their kids to follow orders and came to regret it. And it was so hard to watch that one girl bring up a previous incidnet where the only people who lived were the ones who disobeyed orders :'[

The dashcam footage from cars in the hull was especially painful to watch because that's basically equivalent to the final view the kids would've had and how they would've been tossed around by the sinking
premonitioner 19th-Apr-2019 11:33 am (UTC)
I realised watching the footage from the documentary that Asian Boss posted that I had a lot of unprocessed trauma just from living in Seoul during that time, I completely understand why this tragedy spawned so many protests.
gathyou 19th-Apr-2019 12:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing this. It was a good documentary, and hearing the people in charge thinking more about their image and camera being on there is so heartbreaking... so many kids could have been saved. Images from victims were really hard to see, even if there aren't many of them and we don't see water rushing it (only where the cars were).
I've also watched the AsianBoss short documentary and, while it was directed by a British man, I liked how they interviewed the survivors. The whole documentary seemed to be build around their voices, and completed with some images of the ferry + protests afterwards as an answer to their trauma. Both docs are really powerful
xoxkenzxox 19th-Apr-2019 02:11 pm (UTC)
I'm going to favorite this to watch later after work. I remember being glued to my computer at the time during university watching and hoping for survivors. The videos they reported at the time were so heartbreaking (the kids banging on the window trying to get rescuers to break the glass and save them) and also infuriating (such as the captain bailing off the ship in his boxers after ordering the kids and other guests to stay still).

I wish it never happened. But at the same time, I feel it took an event of this magnitude and with this much corruption to ignite people to question the government and protest.
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