Reclaiming The Negative | A North Korean Defector’s Large Format Portrait

Reclaiming The Negative looks at a North Korean defector’s extraordinary and harrowing escape from her country of birth and the artistic process of a large format photographer who captures a series of stunning portraits of her and other North Korean refugees living in Seoul, South Korea.

Since the end of the Korean War in 1953, roughly 31,000 North Koreans have defected from their home country to South Korea. In 2018, photographer Tim Franco began shooting a series of large format portraits using an unusual technique for a book detailing some of their experiences.

The film takes a more intimate look at the human side of the highly political subject matter.

Film and Music by Mike Beech
Translations by Jiwon Lee
Sound design by Ben Hensor

Tim Franco’s book:

Eun-Ju Kim’s book:
(author listed as Eunsun Kim)

Special thanks to:
Sei Yeon Lee
Seoul Foreign Press Center
Kathy Yun


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