Awards to date:
Tufts CMS 2011 Best Short Feature
Los Angeles Cinema Festival of Hollywood 2011 Best Experimental Film
Bare Bones Film Festival 2012 Best Picture Micro Drama
Cast (in order of appearance):
Winwit Li and Jin Kim .......... The Broker
James Nan Lin ................... The First Seller
Leehae Choee ................... The Girl
Chaeyeong Yoo ................. The Second Girl
Matthew Park .................... The Buyer
Writer, Director, Editing
My senior project, Sold, aimed to provide a commentary on the social injustices in North Korea, and the extreme dangers some are willing to go through to escape such an oppressive society. The short film is from the broken and damaged perspective of a fictional North Korean girl who has escaped across the border only to end up in the hands of a human trafficking broker.
According to Amnesty International, in North Korea, approximately 33% of the population is undernourished due to government mismanagement. Freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, physical movement within the country and expression of religion are prohibited. As for those who step out of line, there have been five political prison camps constructed where over 200,000 prisoners have been worked to death, tortured, raped or executed. For the approximately 300,000 brave enough to flee to China through a modern day Underground Railroad, there is a disturbingly uncertain world ahead of them. Due to the friendly relationship between China and North Korea's governments, refugees must live in hiding of the Chinese government in fear of certain deportation, torture, and even death. This makes North Korean refugees susceptible to further unreportable injustices and the dark underworld of China. Over 80% of North Korean refugees become trafficked and children become orphaned and left with no paperwork or protection, further perpetuating the problem.
In an attempt to educate and provoke, the film is shot in a broken and confused perspective of a girl who has recently escaped across the North Korean border into China, and is sold to as a wife to a northeastern Chinese man. Although the film moves linearly, the shots do not occur in real time. The change of speed and fragmentation shows the confused, delirious and abused state of the girl, whose perspective drives the film.
Piano music by zero-project