You wouldn’t know what to call Mrs. B. if the title of Jero Yun’s film didn’t tell you. The lengths gone to keep the specifics of the main subject hidden silently emphasize the restrictions placed upon immigrants in China and South Korea. Which isn’t to imply that Mrs. B. and her husband(s) don’t explicitly address these nation’s desiccated channels of bureaucracy; these are people who, after a decade (give or take, the chronology is never quite clear), are all too familiar with the realities of human trafficking. Yun’s filmmaking compliments this awareness with shots that seem always to be in transit, only stopping when inactivity is necessitated—at which point the stillness is excruciating. Mrs. B, a North Korean Woman features narration of bits and pieces of the woman’s life since leaving North Korea, and depicts fragments of her return to her family in South Korea; it’s only 70 minutes long, but it’s made clear that even that much footage was hard enough to get.
Previously published as part of New York Asian Film Festival | Dispatch 1.