HA JA Synopsis
Ha Ja is a stereotypically hard-working Korean grandmother, always on the move. Alienated from the outside world, her days are consumed by obsessively-strict routines that mute her emotional distress. Her strained relationship with the conservative values of Korean culture deprives her of a voice, and unbeknownst to her, is the reason for her chronic insomnia. The only solace she finds is in her dreams, which of late, have taken a turn for the worse. She slowly realizes that she often loses minutes, even hours, and finds herself experiencing inexplicable visions that haunt her waking hours. When her black outs become increasingly prevalent, she loses her grip on reality, making her question if what she sees is really just in her head.
This is my first self-directed short film that I created at the beginning of COVID-19. As a beginner film student, it was not an easy task to create something new. Especially being abruptly set to a very limited environment where I could not fully experiment with new film materials, meet other people, or even get person to person valuable feedback/help from my Professor. It was indeed very challenging and stressful, but I used that time as a challenge for me to capture something creative by just using my Sony alpha 6 camera and my phone as a substitute for a sound recorder! This film did not only give me the opportunity to really learn about myself, but it also enabled me to reflect on the life of my Grandmother, Hong Ha Ja, who've always put her husband and her children first. She is one of the people that I respect and admire the most. I hope this story brings us closer to understanding her both personally and emotionally,
"What did you do to me?"