Gina Kim, a professor at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, has been invited to show her virtual reality film “Tearless” at the 78th Venice International Film Festival. The film is second in a three-part series addressing the mistreatment of Korean “comfort women” by U.S. soldiers.
The film is a 360-degree, 3D-immersive project about the experiences of women forced by the South Korean government to serve soldiers in camp towns outside of U.S. military bases. The project focuses on these women’s memories within a detainment center called “Monkey House,” which was established by the South Korean government and staffed by the U.S. military in the 1970s to isolate and treat comfort women with sexually transmitted diseases.
Influenced by surrounding U.S. immigration policies as well as the recent #MeToo movement, Kim hopes to shed light on silenced individuals who live in the space between two countries and outside the protection of their laws. “Tearless” aims to archive the Monkey House site as well as bring forward the experiences of these women while they are still alive.
Kim’s five feature films have been theatrically released to critical acclaim in Europe, Asia and the United States. Between 2004 and 2007 and again from 2013 to 2014, Kim taught film production and theory classes in Harvard University’s department of visual and environmental studies. She was the first Asian woman to teach there. She has also served as a jury member for many film festivals and awards, including the Torino Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival and Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
The Venice International Film Festival will run from Sept. 1 through Sept. 11.