Documentary Review: “KT – Man” by Director Lee Jin-woo. Ambiguous but enjoyable

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Review by: Mut Asheru

KT – Man is a documentary about one man’s lifelong dedication to his company. Director Lee Jin-woo shadows his father through his last days of working for telecommunications company KT and into forced retirement.

The company began as “The Ministry of Information and Communication” or MIC and was a ministry of the government of South Korea. South Korea’s financial crises in the 1990s eventually led to the company becoming a privatized business. We feel more than anything the sadness of what dissolution into private business means for this particular company…although no one ever comes out and tells us it was a bad move.

KT – Man is a subtle exploration into big business in South Korea and perhaps the lack of respect for the working man as a human being? The film seemingly deals being treated more as a commodity as money takes over. It’s difficult to tell because the Papa Lee never ever bad mouths the company that treated him dirty. Director Lee is left with the huge task of voicing his father’s frustrations…but still politely.

This is not an “in yo face” doc that takes fuel and adds it to a fire. You have to find the fire and add fuel to it yourself. You’re left trying to figure out what this first time Director meant to communicate. Despite the ambiguity, it’s an enjoyable and engrossing doc.

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