Deer Flower From Award Winning Director Kangmin Kim

Director Kangmin Kim

Director Kangmin Kim

Quote 'the fear I felt from the deer; the warmth that I could feel while drinking the blood, stayed vividly' - Kangmin Kim

The Story:

In the summer of 1992, Dujung, an elementary student, goes to a farm in the suburbs with his parents. While his parents believe the expensive and rare specialty from the farm will strengthen their son's body, Dujung suffers side effects.

What inspired you to make this film?

My goal is always offering the audience a new kind of experience, using the medium. I looked back on my childhood memories to find something I could reinterpret as a cinematic experience and it became a trilogy of shorts. The first one was "39-39ËšC" that dealt with my nostalgia for my father in 2011, and "Deer Flower" is the second. The third one is conceived and I'm planning on making it next year.

Please tell us the tecniche and special effect you used?

The puppets and props were modeled in Maya and 3D printed. And I placed water color paper to give them more hand-crafted texture. It's a stop motion animation but I also used 2D hand drawing, 3D rendered images as well as 35mm cameraless animation to abstract some of the images.

Where does the story come from?

It actually happened to me.

Why the year 1992?

It's based on a true event in the summer of 1992 when I was a little boy.

Why drinking the blood of a deer?

We have a very diverse health food culture in Korea. It's a fascinating cultural tradition. I was sick often when I was little. So my parents tried many different types of health food, believing that would make me healthier. Deer blood was one of them.

Does deer have a special meaning for you?

Deer doesn't have a personally significant meaning. But I still remember how enormous the deers felt at the farm to me as a child. I never forget the eye of the deer when they were cutting its antler. In that sense, perhaps I do have a special relationship with deers since then, and that's why I made the film.

Is this practice actually carried out in real life?

As you see in the film, I had bad diarrhea immediately after drinking it, so I guess nothing stayed to do anything for my health. I actually had a terrible stomachache and rashes after. But the sensorial and visceral memory of the absurd event; the fear I felt from the deer; the warmth that I could feel while drinking the blood, stayed vividly.

Why did you portrait the boy rejecting the blood? were you trying to state how our believes can be so misplaced?

I don't think the boy is rejecting. In fact, since I am the boy, my parents were quite strict and I would do what I was told without questioning. I would say it's more about being open to different way of believing, convincing yourself with positivity even if those are often silly. It obviously didn't work, but nonetheless, my parents believed those health food products would do good for me and kept getting me different ones. I think those idiosyncrasies make our lives more interesting, more positive, and perhaps more real and human.

How long did it take you to shoot this film?

The production, from building the set to the shooting, was completed in only 4 weeks. I had to finish all alone in that time period due to limited resources but I couldn't believe I actually did it. It was miraculous. But I don't think it would have been possible without 5 months of pre-production as I was designing, testing the 3D printing and building the puppets.

What's your relationship with nature?

You live in it. Since my work is always based on my own experience, nature is always a part of it, a part of my memory. When I reinterpret my memories into a film, how time and space, the nature of filmmaking, feel and function is really important. The sound of cicada, the dappling sunlight on the deer and me through the trees - how they are felt and remembered, are as important as the plot or characters. I'm not an environmentalist but I was interested in how insignificant things you do could become a matter of life and death - whether you pick a flower, or cut an antler to drink blood for your health, you're doing harm to a life. So it became the title, "Deer Flower."

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