«Nocturne» press conference report
On October 3, 2020, the press conference dedicated to the film «Nocturne» by South Korean director Gwanjo Jeong took place. The film is part of the Documentary Competition of the 42nd Moscow International Film Festival. Director, screenwriter and director of photography Gwanjo Jeong took part in the conference online.
The story focuses on Seong-ho, a musician with autistic disorder who has an extraordinary talent in music. But he is trapped in the world of video games and television. His mother has dedicated her life to grooming him into a professional musician. Her only wish is to ‘live an hour longer than Seong-ho.’ She would like to leave Seong-ho to his little brother Geon-gi, but the latter still considers his brother ‘bothersome and useless’. Two brothers go on a trip to Europe without their mother for the first time. “It’s a practice for when mom isn’t here.”
«I used to make news reports for TV, and met a lot of people, many of them children: kids with disabilities, kids with terrible childhoods, children of alcoholics, those who suffered physical abuse, who were harmed in their own families. These news reports were very difficult for me, I cried every day when I came home. And I wanted to make a movie that sends the message of hope, a film about the people who overcome obstacles and survive, despite difficult conditions. Then I met this family, and was amazed by Seong-ho, who is really talented and moves forward no matter what. In 2008, I shot a news report about him studying and playing. And when I was making the report, I met his younger brother Geon-gi. He talked to me about ignoring his brother, he thought his life was forever destroyed because of his condition. My soul literally ached when I heard his words. I really wanted this family to be happy, and I was waiting for that. A decade later, they became happy,» Gwanjo Jeong said.
In the course of these 10 years, the director carefully documented the life of the family. A curious fact: Russia was the first destination abroad for the brothers.
«Geon-gi told me about visiting various countries. He went to Russia, France, Italy, Spain and other countries; he traveled a lot and once said that it would be good to take his brother with him and set out on a journey, during which they could play various instruments. Seong-ho's family is religious, they are Catholics, so their first idea was to travel to Europe and perform at cathedrals. However, when Geon-gi went to Russia, he met local musicians, who offered to invite his brother to the country. Thus, this trip became possible. I think Geon-gi and Seong-ho will go play across Europe when the pandemic ends,» the director said, adding that he adores Russian culture and literature, and read Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Sholokhov when he was young.
The director said that «Nocturne» is a decade-long film about the faith in family and its importance.