DER Documentary

Wedding Through Camera Eyes: A Trilogy of Wedding Photography in Korea

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by Kijung Lee
color, 45 min, 2002

Non-profit, K-12, and Individual pricing also available
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"Honeymoon tour means nothing without photography."

After viewing Wedding Through Camera Eyes, one has the sense that Korean weddings are held in order for the couples involved to create and preserve a fantasy of their relationship in video and carefully constructed photo albums.

Korean visual anthropologist Kijung Lee talks with three different couples and their professional wedding photographers, using the visual documentation of the event as a vehicle to facilitate the discussion. With the help of a photographer, couples may stage a story-book relationship with all the romance of a television soap opera. The photographer is eager to share his knowledge and how he manipulates the photos and his subjects in order to get the desired effects, acting as a stage director at the wedding ceremony.

In the case of the wedding we see in the film, there are 2 ceremonies; first is a traditional Korean style event, and then the westernized version with the bride in a flowing white gown. After the spectacle of the wedding itself, on their honeymoons couples pile into tour buses and for 2 days they are photographed at predetermined sites known for their popularity as back drops for honeymoon photos. Through these interviews, it is made clear how important the creation of visual records is to the couples involved and their families. With the collaboration of a photographer, ordinary people in Korea can become the heroes and heroines they imagine themselves to be.

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Award, Society For Visual Anthropology

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Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts