La Chica Del Sur Analysis

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La chica del sur (2012) is a paradigmatic case of a documentary that ameliorates territorial and cultural difference through mobility. A distant event deeply impacts the director and serves as the film’s pretext: in 1989, José Luis García took part in the thirteenth annual World Youth Festival in Pyongyang, North Korea, a political event that the Soviet Union sponsored just three weeks before the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing and four weeks before the fall of the Berlin Wall. While García filmed this extraordinary event with a hand-held VHS camera, he unexpectedly encountered a captivating, young, South Korean political activist named Lim Sukyung who had clandestinely infiltrated the event to advocate for the peaceful reunification of the two Koreas. An instant celebrity, the South Korean girl’s subjectivity overshadowed García’s authorial intentions. Twenty years later, after reviewing the 1989 footage, García decides to contact her.…show more content…
The fact that he was even there in the first place was, in itself, exceptional: at the last minute, García took his brother’s place because he could not make the trip. In those days, the mere idea of chatting with Sukyung one-on-one would have been unthinkable. Yet by 2011, thanks to the massive explosion of social media, which have played an important role in the mobility turn, the director locates Sukyung easily, and she agrees to receive him in South Korea. Suddenly, then, a faraway, foreign land doesn’t seem so far away after all, and the “Flower of Reunification” (Sukyung’s nickname), goes from being an untouchable to a tangible (though somewhat standoffish) flesh-and-blood individual. The documentary thus takes on a paradoxical quality: on one hand, it expresses the possibility of concretizing an intercultural encounter, while on the other, it marks the limits that such encounters always

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