Directed by Lee Kang-hyun (이강현)136min | Release date in South Korea : 2011/11/24
An experimental documentary beginning from a cold chronicle that describes hygiene management in industrial sites in Korea, then suddenly jumping into sociology of leisure and hobby that represents todayís thinking about labor. It is an adventurous work of the esthetic area quite new to Korean documentaries.
Industrial laborers suffer from an endless array of job related accidents. They get sick from working in mannequin factories, piano factories and stone quarries. However this obvious suffering is not as readily acknowledged as it should be by others. The only advice doctors who visit these work sites can offer to the workers is to refrain from drinking or smoking too much. Results show that their bodies are not in good condition, but the causes are unknown. Society seems content on attributing the blame for these workersí conditions on their own carelessness. The Color of Pain seeks to portray the suffering of these laborers by sharing scenes of them working and consulting with doctors, but it is not a documentary simply meant to inform people of the realities and problems of these industrial laborers. It actually tries to reveal a different side of the society and its system. Problems that are not limited within business units, but are spread out in the society. Disasters that exist, but are not admitted. Science flies over legal boundaries and the system of society defends it. The Color of Pain argues how you canít see the purple bruises. And it cries out for you to take a look at the system. However, the system couldnít be any weaker. A lone person takes care of it, as if it were a simple internet database. A broken hard disk is being recovered in a shabby room. The director seems to ask us why we canít break through this system. The Color of Pain breaks the tradition of independent documentaries in content and form. It is an outstanding film that has the capability to change our perception of reality. (Cho Young Kag)
* Excerpt from the 2011 Jeonju International Film Festival Program book
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2015 51st PaekSang Arts Awards