Film Review: People Are The Sky

By Sara Mirza

As everyone was taking their seats at the CUNY Graduate Center for the 9th Korean American Film Festival in New York (KAFFNY) the view of the crowd was intriguing. The audience was the true definition of what New York is known for – the melting pot. What was surprising was the fact that Director Dai Sil Kim- Gibson herself was walking around in the audience greeting everyone with a warm smile.

As the documentary started the imagery was vibrant and call him with the feeling of relaxation. Director Dai Sil Kim- Gibson is 75 years old and was given the opportunity to visit North and South Korea making her the first Korean-American granted permission to travel to North Korea. Dr. Gibson went to school here in USA on an F1 Visa and married an American. She had a blissful marriage when into 2009 her loving husband passed away in which she realized she wanted to visit her past and have a rejuvenation moment.

In 1945 Gibson cross the 38th parallel border with her grandma at the young age of seven. Originally a native from Googong, North Korea the thrill and excitement in her voice was clear on what she was hoping to see…changes in her hometown and the country itself. The Japanese colonial rule in 1945 brought distraught over everyone when the Japanese were enforcing their culture and religion onto the Koreans. In her documentary of her childhood she proudly states on how she was a deep-rooted Korean and refused to practice the language. Upon receiving her degree from Mount Holyoke College, she turned back to reside in South Korea, however the mindset and political regime was something that would have made her go into prison. There, she decided to take a position that was given to her by her college. After spending many years here in the states, she decided it was time for a change.
As she was touring North Korea she was escorted throughout by bodyguards who had her trip planned out for her. Director Dai Sil Kim-Gibson was interviewing people young and olf and at one point the guy didn’t want her to talk too much in which she wittingly if it was alright to talk to the trees. There was an immense amount of comedy as well as interactions with locals that gave an inside with what was happening and what are their thoughts. From the partition to the sense of nationalism of each country. At a remarkable age she managed to hike, travel, and have blessings on her beloved family, which finally made her feel a rest of heart and ease of mind.

“People far away from home… Those people where the sky.” As the saying “the sky is the limit” but home has no limitations.

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