Singing With Angry Bird

PBS Premiere: June 25, 2018Check the broadcast schedule »

Film Update

In June 2018, POV asked Singing With Angry Bird filmmaker Hyewon Jee what's happened since the cameras stopped rolling.

What inspired you to make this film?

I love music. So I've made many programs with musical elements. I've already made two TV documentaries about Mr. Kim's endeavor with children's choirs in Kenya and India before. So, when he initiated a new challenge with the parents of his choir members, I naturally decided to film his journey.

Have Kim or the families seen the film yet? What do they think?

Mr. Kim watched it at our world premiere at the IDFA 2016. He said it gave him opportunity to look back what he had done and lead to self-discovery. It also prompted him to think how to improve his teaching methods. Children and their parents watched the program at the choir office together. They enjoyed watching themselves on screen.

We see how singing can bring people/families closer. Can you talk about an experience you have had with this?

During the filming, I often thought about my own mother. I've never sung a song with my mother. I saw how music keeps the family together. Especially, with Manali's family, the choir activity brought them much closer. And the kids learned to see their mom, Mary, from new perspective. Seeing the three of them singing together is so pleasant to watch.

How did the community react to filming?

Some people in the community rejected the filming. But the choir members and their family members welcomed us. They enjoyed getting attention since they had often been ignored by society. The members would greet the filming crew with singing and humming.

What was your favorite song the Banana Choir performed?

Aashiyan. It's a very light and happy song. Everyone had such a wonderful time practicing and performing this song.

Were you/ Are you a singer?

No. But if there's a choir in my community, I'd like to join now.

Can you give us updates on some of the characters?

Mr. Kim has founded a new Children's choir in Malawi, Africa and is working hard. The Banana Children's Choir members are still young. They go to school. Among the older members, one girl became a school teacher and another is preparing to make a debut as a singer.

What are you working on now?

I'm working on a new documentary feature about Minod Moktan, a Nepali human rights activist and singer. He lived in Korea as an illegal migrant worker for ten years and had a popular rock band named Stop Crackdown. Then, one day, he was arrested on his way to work and instantly deported to Nepal in 2009. This story features Minod's current work in the community and the reunion concert of Stop Crackdown.