Granny Poetry Club
Directed by: Jae-Hwan Kim
South Korea, 2019, 97m
*Talent in attendance for first screening
“Poems here. Poems there. Poems are all over the place.” In Chilgok, South Korea, contemporary “grannies,” women in their eighties, are just beginning an incredible learning journey. This is because, in 1937, the Japanese government—while controlling Korea as a puppet state—forbade Koreans from studying, learning, or teaching the Korean language in school. As youngsters, the grannies memorized the multiplication table in Japanese and lived their entire lives illiterate in Korean. When a modern-day Korean school opens in their village, however, the grannies prove learning is ageless. This heartwarming and humorous documentary chronicles these women studying language and the signs around them while learning to write and express their thoughts. Along the way are glimpses into everyday Korean life and mores. Individual stories about love, family, grandchildren, health, sadness, homemade chapbooks, and even a dog named Hong—paired with the music, singing, and dancing that inspire the collective—underscore an authentic celebration of living and the power of the human spirit.