MEMORY OF FORGOTTEN WAR
Directed by Deann Borshay Liem, Ramsay Liem
Excellence in Documentary Short Filmmaking Award, 2013 Asian American International Film Festival
Since 2000, Deanne Borshay Liem has won over audiences worldwide with two emotional and groundbreaking documentaries on adoption: First Person Plural and In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee (SDAFF ’10). With her latest film, MEMORY OF FORGOTTEN WAR, Deanne and Ramsey Liem bring the same poignant clarity to individuals physically separated from families by an uncrossable and devastating line in the sand – specifically the 38th parallel, otherwise known as the DMZ.
Informed by Ramsey Liem’s larger oral history project on Korean American immigrants, MEMORY OF FORGOTTEN WAR is not your typical documentary on the Korean War, sometimes called “unknown,” “unfinished,” or “forgotten” due to the temporary armistice which created the DMZ. If anything, these problematic names hint at the irresolvability of separation, the heart of Liem’s masterworks. With powerful archival footage, MEMORY OF FORGOTTEN WAR takes audiences through a moving lesson on irrepressible longing through the ways four overseas Koreans continue their simple efforts to reunite families in spite of the DMZ, six decades later.
MEMORY OF FORGOTTEN WAR comes at an important time. On the 60th anniversary of the armistice and increasing calls for Korean unification, this film is a rare chance to revisit the still active impact of war on families blown across different shores. –Christina Ree