The Korea Herald


'The Story of Dreams: Picture Brides' wins award at Houston Film Fest

By Lee Si-jin

Published : May 5, 2023 - 15:13

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Cover image of Cover image of "Picture Brides" (J Wonder)

The documentary “The Story of Dreams: Picture Brides” received an award at the 56th-edition of Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival.

The South Korean documentary won the Silver Remi at the film festival, founded in 1968 and the third-oldest film festival in the US. Past winners of the annual festival include Steven Spielberg. The film festival ran from April 25 to 30 in Houston.

Created by filmmakers Song Ji-hwan, Lee Jeong-tae and Jo Hyun-woo, “The Story of Dreams: Picture Brides” features the life of Korean women, who moved to the US (or to Hawaii), taking with them only the photos of their future husbands.

The term “picture bride” refers to the practice of immigrant workers -- mostly Korean and Japanese -- in the early 20th century, choosing their brides from their native countries with family recommendations and photographs.

The 50-minute documentary film presents real life experiences and stories of discrimination, alienation and isolation, as well as the individual stories of second generation Korean immigrants, including Esther Kwon, 93, and Mary Zarbough, a 103-year-old woman and the daughter of the late Chun Yun-hee, who left tapes and notebooks as evidence of her life as a picture bride.