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I'm the filmmaker of PLASTIC GIRLS, a film about the sexualisation of public space.

Dear VIDDSEE community,

I'm the filmmaker of PLASTIC GIRLS, a film about the sexualisation of public space. PLASTIC GIRLS is the last film of a Korea related trilogy following BIKINI WORDS and LAST LETTERS. What unites the 3 films is a strong focus on issues related to space and architecture, but each film itself stands out with an individual subject matter. PLASTIC GIRLS is the most quirky out of the 3 films. The presented mannequins are unique to Korea and the film explores through them a clever way to address gender issues in Korea without flatly denouncing the society itself.

Differences in gender equality between South Korea and other places in the West are significant. Since I moved to Korea in late 2005, I have been confronted with those disparities in my day to day life. But as a foreigner, how do we and how should we address our concerns about something we personally disagree with? The longer I lived away from home, the more I started to really understand that the way a society is structured, is deeply rooted within its culture and history. In a way this is obvious. But still, as an expat it is easy to drift away from the culture you once decided to live in after encountering elements of the host country’s way of life that you find disagreeable. This insight can stop one from bashing the culture and instead lead one to be more accepting of the way society shapes people’s lives. But then by the same token, what kind of criticism can you possibly engage yourself in, if you live in a society, which is so different from your own and possibly conflicts with your beliefs?

PLASTIC GIRLS is not a film that intends to be offensive towards South Korean society or make it look like gender inequality is an issue only with regard to this nation. Despite references to Korean society and culture, I want to make more of a general statement regarding gender inequality. The sexualization of public space, which is the focus of the film, I believe, illustrates a more global tendency, which in general should be of concern. By choosing plastic mannequins as the very peculiar main subjects of the film, I intend to make the audience feel uncomfortable, but also give them enough room to reflect on the sexualisation of public space on a conceptional level rather than specifically within the context of South Korean society. It is my intention to create a certain awkwardness without being directly offensive towards anybody or by utilising national stereotypes. Even though this film is shot in Korea and references various distinct Korean public spaces, I really hope that this film speaks to an international audience and not only makes us look at gender misbalances in Korea, but allows us to reflect on how the culture produces a certain view of women in general and how we think about an on-going trend regarding a sexualisation of public space.

After a Vimeo Staff Pick feature and several screenings at international film festivals such as Palm Springs, Cinequest and Interfilm Berlin, I am now very happy to present PLASTIC GIRLS on VIDDSEE. I am new to this community and by hosting this "AMA", I am looking forward to connect, exchange ideas and learn from other filmmakers in Asia or other parts of the world.

Thank you very much for your interest in this film and please ask me anything you want!
Nils

www.nilsclauss.com
www.thisiscontented.com

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