JULY 1, 2022
USA | 5 minutes | 2021
Drama, family short film directed by Da Eun Kim
Starring Ivanna Sun, Ami Park
In order to grow up, a young girl must confront her biggest fear: the dark.
I used to be scared of the dark. As a young child of immigrants who moved every few months to a new city and home, a nightlight was a necessity: in my bedroom, in the hallway, everywhere. At the age of 5, I thought I had conquered my fear of the dark; that is, until we went to go visit my grandparents in Seoul, who had no nightlights. I remember laying on the ground, as my parents drifted off to sleep, not knowing the difference between my eyes being wide open and my eyes squeezed shut.
No matter at what age, I feel that we all have moments where we feel ready to be our own person and to handle everything on our own. I especially felt that as I’ve grown into my own person and clashed with my parents’ values and beliefs. It seemed simple for me to attribute my need for independence to language and cultural barriers; my parents just wouldn’t understand. But then, we have moments where we come back to realize we do want help, comfort, and familiarity. I have always felt like a child at heart, and yes, sometimes the dark does scare me, because it’s a motif of the unknown, uncharted territory that I do not yet have the heart to venture into. Because, as much as I try to distinguish myself from my parents, I indeed find comfort under their wings even at 25 years old.
This film is my chance to reimagine a misunderstood yet loving parent-child relationship, where I’ve been that child who feels that she doesn’t need her mom anymore, but I also can imagine the confusion and inner conflict of a first-time parent who just wants her daughter to be safe and happy. I hope you feel the theme of independence versus dependence reverberate throughout this story, and I hope we remember that it’s the moments of darkness that can actually bring about the most memorable life lessons.
– Da Eun Kim
Nightlight is one of the many great projects shared with CineAsian Films through our submissions process. If you’d like to join them, submit your project.
Director, Writer: Da Eun Kim
Producer, Editor: Bobbi Broome
Cinematographer: Ian Phillips
Composer: Sophia Sun