Documentary Review: Table for Two (2022) by Kim Bo-ram

Following her exceptional “For Vagina’s Sake”, Kim Bo-ram continues her exploration of womanhood, even though via a rather distinctive point of view, as this time she focuses on the partnership of a mother and a daughter, Park Sang-ok and Chae-young.

Table for Two is screening at Busan International Film Festival

In 2007, the then 15-year old Chae-young was diagnosed with anorexia and was committed to a mental hospital, exactly where she stayed for additional than a month. In the meantime, her mother, feeling guilty, began to examine additional closely the no matter if it was her fault that her daughter ended up in such a state. Upon her exit from the hospital, the girl went the comprehensive opposite path, becoming bulimic. Now, ten years later, mother and daughter appear to be prepared to have an truthful discussion about their partnership, below the basically invisible camera of Kim Bo-ram.

As the discussion continues, with Chae-young becoming the evident “aggressor” and Sang-ok in continuous defense, we find out of the spite the latter hid for a mother she felt did not realize and did not have the time to do so. Her complaints extend to a quantity of behaviors, but what becomes evident is that the principal purpose she was angry with her was due to the fact she felt neglected. At this point, Kim Bo-ram begins focusing on Sang-ok’s previous as a student activist, and later on as ‘homemother’ in a college for young females who had been victimized, and even later on, as a teacher. Though one particular could simply think about her CV one particular of service to the society and her a genuinely self-sacrificing person, it also becomes evident that her operate basically led to her daughter feeling left out, even additional so given that she grew up without having a father. As such, Kim Bo-ram poses a rather exciting query relating to the selection amongst service and motherhood, which in this case, appears to linger towards the initially, at least according to Chae-young.

At the similar time, although, and in spite of her stoic acceptance of her daughter’s really pointed remarks, the discomfort she feels hearing her speak like that is really evident, in an method that, really realistically, does not necessarily give a catharsis or bridges gaps that had been formed more than years. In addition, and in an work to analyze her protagonists even additional, Kim also focuses on the story of Chae-young’s grandmother, whose behavior towards her personal daughter appears to be the root of Sang-ok towards hers. That the only “compliment” Chae-young utters comes in this discussion highlights each this idea and all the aforementioned. Lastly, the documentarian also follows the two females immediately after Chae-young moved to Brisbane, with a second round of discussions shedding even additional light to their relationships.

Primarily functioning as a sort of a stage play, with the majority of the 89-minute documentary depicting two females speaking to every single other in distinctive settings, the film could have turn out to be dull in the hands of a lesser director. Kim Bo-ra, having said that, enriches her narrative with a quantity of components that let the film to flow smoothly. Chae-young’s sketches, which are turned into animation on a quantity of occasions, the writing on the screen presenting her diary entries, the footage of her mother from the previous, photographs of the two throughout the initial crises, and the presentation of Chae-young’s present life all move towards the similar path. In addition, Cho Won-joo’s editing has placed these components in excellent moments inside the narrative, as they each enrich the story and give relief from the otherwise monotonous setting.

The trust Kim got from her “subjects” and the sincerity with which they share even shocking truths and their innermost thoughts, take care of the rest for the film.

“Table of Two” is an exceptional documentary that manages to turn a rather individual challenge into a globally-attractive one particular, when retaining interest via its cinematic method, from starting to finish.

By IPTV

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