Established by the military regime ruled by park chung-hee (father of the current South Korean president) in 1961, the Central Intelligence Agency is a notorious institution which symbolizes the tortures and suspicious deaths executed by Park’s dictative regime.
Renamed currently as National Intelligence Service, the agency still remains at the center of controversy for its political manipulation. Today, it is facing several lawsuits by the innocent victims of the past tortures and bereaved families to regain their impaired reputation.
<Evaporation> was conceived by inspirations from the book “the record of the barbarian age” that reports several cases of tortures and damages executed during the Korean modern history. Besides, <Evaporation> aims to reveal people’s distrust toward the nation and their fear in society, caused by the Central Intelligence Agency (currently National Intelligence Service) through an experimental film language.
While recreating torture scenes in a realistic way, I also aimed to express the mutilated memories of the tortures stated by several victims, who were introduced in the book, by taking actual film extracts of the past. To proceed, I analyzed every film that is based in true stories concerning the Central Intelligence Agency in south Korea film history, then, I edited by combining the insert scenes extracted from the old films with the newly created black & white torture scenes in order to imply the historical case. The scenes extracted from the existing films are then transposed into the ones that symbolize new memories of the victims. This process of transposition, the old film being taken as a scene of memory in a new film, can be understood in the same context as the way how the younger generation who hasn’t experienced the same past remembers it somehow through films. Besides, the difference of time contained in one place and the ongoing trauma caused by the Central Intelligence Agency in Korean society are metaphorically shown by the examples such as the hall of the old Central Intelligence Agency appeared in the film and the news footage reporting the North-south joint declaration in 1972 held in the same place.
<Evaporation> aims to recall the dark past of the military regime and its Central Intelligence Agency by means of film, which is one of the ways to understand and remember the inexperienced past for younger generations. Furthermore, <Evaporation> contains the director’s will to surmount the vestiges of the military culture that is still present in Korean society.