‘From Paris, your mom’: the aching yearning of those exiled from family back in East Asia
In his intimate and personal film Promise, the French-based South Korean director Jéro Yun takes us on visits to a Paris hostel where he has formed a friendship with the owner, a woman who reminds him of his mother whom he hasn’t seen in a decade. In a poignant echo, the woman has been unable to see her own son for nine years, fearing that a trip back to China would mean losing her visa. Spare but filled with feeling, Yun’s short documentary evokes the aching yearning of people far from home and family – people for whom surrogates and substitutes offer a touch of solace that never is quite enough. Snowy exteriors and shadowy interiors provide a beautifully moody backdrop for this bittersweet story of two people whose meaning to each other in the present moment is inescapably tethered to their pasts.