Description of Bankruptcy

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Sociopolitical Documentary published by Others in 2006 - English, Korean Multilanguage narration

also known as

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Image: Description-of-Bankruptcy-Cover.jpg

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'If you ask for my life, I will stab you in the heart'

Four black and white camera angles of a subway station; no sound. A train arrives, people get on and off. The lights of the next train shine from the tunnel. An agitated man descends onto the tracks. His final moments are recorded in monochrome, 15 frames per second, 13, 14, 15.

In 2006's “The Description of Bankruptcy”, director Lee Kang Hyun carries forward the haunting violence of this moment, the despair of an anonymous fate and the events which would compel it to provoke a reflection on the financial crisis of 1997. Images of Seoul are overlapped with radio channel chatter, news reports stream lifestyle advice atop cityscapes. Everyday life passes amongst industrial scenes; an industrial press rapidly stamps paper. One man relates his success story: 'got it...by betting only 100 won', another voice implores us to be mindful of the future: 'If you want to succeed...you need a wise eye to see your outcomes critically'. Traffic passes through Seoul, and more advice: 'People who don't smile a lot have wrinkles in their face', now a stone-faced man stacks papers in a printing machine, his gloves are stained red. '...smile out loud as much as you can. One who smiles a lot also has less chance for mental illnesses such as hypochondria.' Workers steam-press clothing in a factory while the radio confidently declares: 'The time has come when all power comes from the people....

In economically burgeoning South Korea, individuals are expendable. Rhythmical editing and dryly ironic narration convert the arid wind evaporating individuality from society into a visual guerilla poem.

You hear so many horrible accidents and crimes from TV and newspapers. But they don't surprise you any more. You may think they are just a part of your daily life. Since around 2000 in Korea, there have been tons of strange murders. There are no killers and no suspects, but people are murdered every day. Someone calls them, "social murders". However, these everyday terrible crimes do not shock anybody. They are just filling a small corner of a newspaper. No alarms and no surprises. No efforts to stop them. What has thrown you into such a dead apathy?

Soap dramas are still attracting many people all over the world. It means old orders are so strong and sturdy that they are moving the world even after they seem to have disappeared.

매일같이 신문지상에 오르내리는 수많은 사건과 사고들. 그러나 아무리 끔찍한 사건과 사고라도 그것이 일상적이라면 내성이 생긴다. 2000년을 전후로, 한국의 조간신문과 저녁뉴스시간엔 범인도, 용의자도 없는 사회적 타살의 소식들이 넘쳐나기 시작했다.

세상은 여전히, 신파가 지배하는 것처럼 보인다. 이 말은, 이 세계의 작동방식이라는 것이 아직도 여전히 공고하다는 것이다.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • 2006, DV 6mm, color, 61'
  • Video Codec: XviD ISO MPEG-4
  • Video Bitrate: 1457 kbps
  • Video Resolution: 640x480
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1
  • Frames Per Second: 29.970
  • Audio Codec: 0x0055 MPEG-1 Layer 3
  • Audio Bitrate: 122kb/s VBR 48000 Hz
  • Audio Streams: 2
  • Audio Languages: Korean
  • RunTime Per Part: 1:01:17
  • Number Of Parts: 1
  • Part Size: 732,231,738 Bytes
  • Subtitles: English
  • Ripped by: Kim Jong Trill

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