A Korean Granddaughter faces guilt and shame as she reunites with her Halmeoni (Grandma) after immigrating away at a young age, having forgotten her mother tongue.

Director’s Vision for ‘Halmeoni’

Halmeoni portrays two significant themes to me. One, it conveys an experience that many immigrants go through – the complete loss or impairment of their mother tongue. For those who immigrate at a young age, we become hyper focused on adapting to our new cultures and communities, to the point where we often forget our own. It is often not until we mature into our teen/adulthood where we recognize our losses and are faced with guilt, sometimes even shamed by the family around us. It’s an ever-so-common phenomenon that deserves to be brought up into our conversations more often, especially in a month where we celebrate Asian heritage and cultures.

The second theme portrays the never-ending limits of the love of our grandparents (halmeoni’s and harabeoji’s). It’s not uncommon especially in Eastern Asian households for the grandparents to raise the children as the parents become overwhelmed with their work. I wanted to show that even at our lowest, our Halmeoni’s will be there to comfort us, going as far as to learn a new language.