Cast: Hyungjoon Won
Hyungjoon Won, a Juilliard-trained violinist, is closer than ever to realizing his pursuit of the last seven years: a joint concert by North and South Korea. Due to prohibitions in cross-border movement, musicians from the two sides would straddle the 38th Parallel, the most militarized border in the world. It is where soldiers stand mere feet apart, ready to resume battle at a moment’s notice (the Korean War never officially ended).
In the week leading up to the concert, inspired musicians gather from around the world to Seoul to partake in the effort. However, military aggression, geopolitical paralysis, and apathy threaten to derail a dream that many called crazy to begin with — and pursued at great sacrifice.
Catherine Lee is a filmmaker and a humanitarian worker with experience in 18 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Born in South Korea, she dedicated her studies at Yale and Harvard universities and a decade of professional work to policies and international projects addressing injustices.
With increasing dismay and anger, Catherine saw social change projects fail over and over again. Concluding that hearts must be moved for sustaining behavior change, she left full-time employment to try storytelling via film. In addition to 9at38, her directorial debut, Lee has produced films for European, Asian, and American broadcast outlets. Her latest independent project is a feature documentary about South Sudanese who come together across warring ethnic lines to mobilize for peace in their country, “the world’s youngest and most broken.”
The nine short films in the OPENING NITE screening of the Nitehawk Shorts Festival address the dynamics of family, shining in the face of adversity, and attempting to make meaningful connections. New York stories punctuate.