Chronicles of migrant life reveal hardships
“Migrant workers in Korea are described either as pitiful low-class workers or criminals, which is not true,” Mahbub said in smooth Korean. “I am inviting Koreans to develop a better understanding of migrant workers and their humanity.”
The film festival will present a total of 38 films by and about migrant workers from various countries. To maximize their audience, Mahbub and his fellow organizers have made sure that each film has both Korean and English subtitles. For those who speak neither language, there will be plot summaries provided in six different languages including Vietnamese and Chinese.
The opening film is “A Day Without a Mexican” by Sergio Arau, a sharp satire of the reality facing migrant workers in California. The film takes place on a day when all the Latino workers in Los Angeles have vanished. The festival also has sections such as “Migration and Labor,” with feature films, many of them documentaries, which offer an in-depth look at the issues facing migrant workers in various parts of the world. The “Migration and Women” and “Migration and Children” sections look at specific issues, such as brides in less-affluent Southeast Asian countries who choose their husbands out of financial necessity rather than love.
Mahbub noted that the festival is taking place at a time when the immigration office is continuing its crackdown on illegal immigrants. “I hope the film festival will be a chance to debate a range of issues facing migrant workers,” he said.
The Seoul Art Cinema (02) 741-9782 is in Insa-dong, Central Seoul and can be reached from the Jongno 3-ga station, lines No. 1, 3 and 5. For details, visit www.mwff.or.kr, which provides information in Korean and English.
By Chun Su jin [firstname.lastname@example.org]