A tribute is displayed at the end of the film — “To my mother and father who speak and listen with eyes.” Does that mean the parents of the director deaf like the parents in the film? Does the director want to become like the girl in the film who cannot listen or speak?
Recently released film “Bori” by Director Kim Jin-yoo starts at this point. Bori, who is the only person with no hearing impairment in her family, prays every day that she would lose hearing. She even feels isolated and envies her brother who communicates with the parents in a sign language. It shows how naïve she is. When she realizes her prayer was not heard, she tries to lose hearing by putting up the volume of her earphones to the max. When it turns out to be ineffective, she jumps into the sea to lose hearing like a long-time diver. That does not make her deaf either, but she experiences life as a deaf person pretending that she cannot listen or speak.
Some may think a film that features a disabled family would demonstrate their wounds and appeal to the audience’s sympathy. But “Bori” does not. It calmly persuades the audience that people with disability do not need sympathy in their life and need to be treated in the same way with others. It also demonstrates that their life is just the same as other ordinary people by showing that a disabled family lives their life in the same way as, or even loves and cares each other more than ordinary families. The demonstration is based on stories of the director whose parents are hearing-impaired. He also wanted to lose hearing just like Bori. What’s important here is that he wanted to lose hearing because of love for his parents, not because of despair or wounds. It is why this film is about love, not about discrimination or wounds.