‘Comfort woman’ finds a voice in ‘I Can Speak’
Ahead of the release later this month, the “I Can Speak” director and stars discussed the movie at a recent press conference.
The movie, laced with humor, revolves around a public official named Park Min-jae (Lee Je-hoon) and a grumbling grandmother named Na Ok-bun (Na Muni), who bothers district office officials every day with complaints on even trivial matters. Though the two do not have a good start, they develop a close relationship when Min-jae begins teaching English to Ok-bun, and learns of Ok-bun’s painful past as a comfort woman and the motivation that drives her to study so hard.
“The more I learned, the more pain I felt, so I felt that [I could not study the issue more deeply,] which was an excuse,” said director Kim Hyun-seok on Wednesday.
The director added, “The pain of the grandmother in the film is depicted very briefly. Instead of focusing on comfort women’s painful past, I wanted to portray the perspectives that we have of grandmothers [like Ok-bun].”
“Instead of attempting roles based on my own desires or out of personal interests, I thought I would be more grateful if I could deliver something as an actor,” said Lee about his role.
Na expressed excitement over starring in the movie in a lead role. “Playing a main role at my age, nobody can understand how it feels until they have reached my age,” said the 75-year-old veteran actress who also starred in “Miss Granny” (2014).
The movie will be released on Sept. 21.
BY JIN MIN-JI [firstname.lastname@example.org]