Persə nel VR

By Gina Kim
South Korea, 2017, 12’

From Wednesday, Oct. 5 to Saturday, Oct. 8, Walter Binni Hall, Via delle Prome (Porta Sole) from 4 to 7:30 p.m.


Original Title: 동두천
Written and Directed by: Gina Kim
Production: Crayon Film
Produced by: Jiyoung Kang and Seonah Kim
This project was sponsored by Dankook University Graduate School of Cinematic Content (BK 21 Plus), Venta VR, UCLA Center for the Study of Women, UCLA The Center for Korean Studies, UCLA Institute of American Cultures, UCLA Asian American Studies Center


Bloodless is a 12minute VR film that deals with camp town sex workers for US army stationed in South Korea since the 1950s. The film traces the last living moments of a real-life sex worker who was brutally murdered by a US soldier at the Dongducheon Camptown in South Korea in 1992. Portraying the last hours of her life in the camp town, the VR film transposes a historical and political issue into a personal and concrete experience. This film was shot on location where the crime took place, bringing to light ongoing experiences at the 96 camp towns near or around the US military bases.

On October 31st, the suspected murderer of Yoon Keum Yi was arrested while returning to the base with blood still on his pants and shoes, but the United States Forces in Korea refused to extradite him. Mass protests broke out demanding that the soldier be tried in the Korean court system. I took part in the protests as a freshman in college. We put posters on walls and marched while spreading flyers to civilians. The graphic and disturbing image of the crime scene was printed on each flyer. Every time I saw Yun Keum Yi’s brutally mutilated body being endlessly reproduced in posters and flyers, I saw her dignity being once again destroyed. For 25 years, I have struggled to find a way to make a film about this tragic incident. But I kept coming up against the fact that I could not cinematically represent the story without exploiting the image and thereby reproducing the original violence itself. But with VR, the viewer is no longer a passive spectator, who can take voyeuristic pleasure from a spectacle in front of them (and at a distance). Upon realizing the potential of the VR, I came up with a way to tell the same violent story, without showing and exploiting the image of her. After studying the neighborhood where she lived and worked, obsessively walking in loops around the brothels, mimicking her itinerary on the night of her murder, I determined to have her ghost guide us: to the perfectly preserved dilapidated streets, the club that she met the soldier, and finally the small room she was mutilated and died. The image on the flyer still haunts me, motivating me to return to these non-sovereign spaces and the many women exiled there whose voices have yet to be heard.

Gina Kim

Gina Kim’s five feature-length films have screened at more than 80 prestigious international film festivals and venues all over the world. Never Forever was the first co-production between the US / Korea and theatrically released in France, Korea and the US. Final Recipe was wide-released in China over 3,000 theaters. Kim was a jury member at the 66th annual Venice Film Festival where her film Faces of Seoul (2009) premiered. Kim taught film theory and production as the first Asian woman to teach at the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University. She is a Professor at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

Tearless (2021)
Bloodless (2017)
Final Recipe (2013)
Never Forever (2007)
Invisible Light (geu jip ap) (2003)
Gina Kim’s Video Diary (2002)
Morning Becomes Eclectic (2001)
Empty House (1999)
Flying Appetite (1998)
Door (1997)
Walking (1996)
Passing Eyes (1995)
The Picture I Draw (1995)
Ok Man, This Is Your World (1995)
Heroine (1995)