Permission to Exist

The film Permission to Exist releases December of this year, into a pop culture climate where documentary films and miniseries are bingeably popular, but its journey to screen traces far back, to a time before Tiger King and the Fyre Festival. An independent, crowdsourced production directed by Kelley Katzenmeyer, this broad look at the human cost of South Korea’s intense education system has a personal touch and an empathetic eye, but loses narrative momentum in its hard balance of styles and subjects. Katzenmeyer introduces herself within the film early on as a Korean exchange student dating a boy named Dabin who’s under extreme pressure to rate a perfect score on the national exam and gain access to a prestigious university. Though she keeps the focus of the story on others, her presence is felt as a curious outsider making sense of a foreign concept for the rest of us. If you’re interested in Korean culture, Permission to Exist is a no-brainer, a definitive film document on the subject to stand alone should Netflix or Hulu one day replicate it, because of the director’s unique perspective. … More Permission to Exist

Cheer Up! (Sassy Go Go) | Recommended Korean Drama | 발칙하게 고고

Ah, what we have here are two friends from opposite sides of the track. You see, in this highly competitive elite school, Soo-ah is the number two student and Yeon-doo is the 196th. Usually, the highest and lowest-ranked students come to blows in the hallways. But Soo-ah gets it. She’s above this petty squabbling. Maybe there’s hope yet at peace across the aisle… … More Cheer Up! (Sassy Go Go) | Recommended Korean Drama | 발칙하게 고고