“My Father’s E-mails” is a Korean documentary movie directed by Hong Jae-hee.
This is a emotional movie about a family relationships in a post-Korean war era. The movie story line starts when director Hong Jae-hee started receiving on day detailed e-mails from her father. The emails had as a subject her dad’s life. At the moment Hong Jae-hee didn’t particularly care about her father’s life and did not know what to think of this. Her relationship with her dad was strained, and it was the same with all her family consisting also of her mother, sister and brother.
However, Hong Jae-hee started to think seriously only after her father’s death about what kind of person was her father, why he was going on all his work trips, where he had come from, and why he had a grudge against his own family. The movie “My Father’s Emails” follows this discovery process.
Hong Jae-hee’s father born in 1934 was indirectly caught up in the Korean War. In 1947 he headed south in search of work, hoping for a return within a few years. However, history happened and his plans were messed up. He became stuck on the South Korean side of the border. He worked for a while in the American military, achieving some impressive credentials in the process. This way, he ensured a middle class existence. He married and got a family.
When he couldn’t find local work, Hong Jae-hee’s father was looking for jobs overseas, from Vietnam to Australia, and Saudia Arabia. However, at home he was feeling depressed and became abusive. Among the complex reasons for his behavior was the isolation imposed by the Korean War, and his addiction to alcohol.
Hong Jae-hee starts to feel pity for her father who kept taking on those foreign jobs but felt like no one cared about him in his house. Such subconscious indictments have hurt her father deeper and harder than anyone could ever have guessed.