A Moving Girl
Feature Documentary : 80 mins, 2022(In Progress)
Director: YoonYoung Lee
The sequel documentary after the first short, <Fight Like A Girl(2017)> to extend the topic on HOW to fight. During 4 years of training Brazilian JiuJitsu, one of the most renowned martial arts for women, Yoon-Young(Milla) has pondered deeply of why we should fight and how we should do it. Bonding, exchanging opinions and experiences with other women who train, Yoon-Young found out that regardless of the level she has achieved or whereabouts she trains, the answer is always the same. We should never stop the "movement" of ourselves. The film is a journey of a young Korean woman, Yoon-Young the director herself, but the story is based on who she meets. There will be 3 chapters, as each chapter interprets the movement of women differently in each social context. The documentary will reveal the vitality of women especially when it comes to fight or survive.
1. Physical Movement - Korea, New Zealand
We move in a different way that men do not choose or prefer. We have watery, flowy movement and often are called technical. How are our bodies different from men's? What is so notable about women's movement? Jiujitsu is evolving, discovering and absorbing women's tactics as it is still male-dominant sports. Techniques that work better for women are mostly developed in the way to fight against men's inborn strength and that aligns with the development of jiujitsu techniques. The 1st generation female blackbelts who survived from all the hatred and aggressiveness tell us to be technical when we train, and do not use the power. "Don't be like men, be like women. It's all about movement. Let's honor that." As we spar equally regardless of gender, we go through tough training including unexpected emotional crash and slump due to the lack of understanding of women, but it is issued by male-dominant culture and structural inequality . In this chapter, Yoon-Young meets inspiring female individuals in Korea and New Zealand and listens to their journey and achievement. She proves that women can be role models for other women, and therefore we can be proud to be ourselves.
2. Social Movement - America, Korea
Yoon-Young meets the 1st generation of female trainers who run and organize women's only network. The network throughout the States have been functioning as a comfort zone and a safe place for women to train. Yoon-Young asks why we need this. "Because we want to show the younger girls, that they can do that." Because of the power dynamics, not only with the experience of training jiujitsu,
women often confront threatening situations to remain silent, enduring uncompromisable conditions. To fight against this and to grow mentality to help ourselves, women leaders need a place to give belonging and empowerment back to women. They might have started out very small, but now the networks have become a great influence, enlarging almost 10 times and more. Not only teaching us self-defense, the women leaders and ambassadors of the female network, they focus on social movement building sisterhood to ultimately raise our voice against sexism, and help the victims to recover.
3. Immigration - New Zealand, Korea
The 3rd meaning of women's move would be "Immigration" as "move" refers moving places, it can be extended to "immigrate". In this chapter, Yoon-Young manages to show that the ultimate goal of women is to live safe. Moving to another country is going to be the most personal story in this documentary. "I wanted to experience higher women's rights in the culture." Yoon-Young explains the motivation to leave her own country. For her, immigration is an option, but a lifetime changing decision that woman can choose to change their life. Yoon-Young interviews other immigrants and visualize their movement in the film as they all train jiujitsu, all women reveals their vigorous fighting spirit to change their own world and furthermore, the actual world. Yoon-Young shows that women will never stop moving in order to achieve what is right for them, even it means escaping the nation that we are told to stay in or even patriarchy culture that we are told to serve.
Throughout the movie, Yoon-Young designates herself as a young Korean woman. Young generation of Korean women had to engage feminism movement dramatically in their reality as they had to face ugly truth and direct threats in real life. Sex & Violence crime rate has been rapidly going up in Korea, pushing numerous women to commit suicides and be exposed to planned murders. Korean women has invented ways of social movement to stop such assaults, by making contents specifically targeting women who wants to fight against misogyny. By hands-on experience and as empowered as she is from training JiuJitsu, Yoon-Young wanted to share her story to encourage other women to weaponize their bodies, and feel strong. The documentary illuminates the action of survival of women. Yoon-Young is expecting to meet women who can get inspiration from the journey, of the women who train JiuJitsu.
FIGHT LIKE A GIRL
Short Documentary : 32 mins, 2018
Seoul Women and Family
Director: YoonYoung Lee
This documentary is the very first one of the series that I will produce as a Brazilian jiujitsu trainee. There is a five-belts system starting from white belt to become a blackbelt master. Brazilian Jiujitsu(aka. BJJ) not only gives us lessons on mats but also in life. It is my lifetime goal to record what I have learned from Jiujitsu and I hope to share the stories of people who are willing to empower others, especially women.
A journey of a novice : a white belt, female Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu trainee. Yoon-Young finds it stressful to admit that there is a gap between inborn strengths. She struggles as she is always stuck at the weaker position. She can not stop feeling inferior comparing herself to the people who have bigger power. The world was turning to be an enemy to her.
However, after she encounters Jiu-jitsu in life, Yoon-Young learns the spirit to subvert such inborn rules of the world. She gradually learns how to fight back, to ultimately comprehend herself as a weapon itself. Especially as a woman, she starts to appreciate the techniques and perspective that she could have as a jiujitsu trainee. In the perspective of jiujitsu, there is no weak or strong, there is only an option, to give up or fight.