Hangul Blues

Hangul Blues (한글 블루스)
A Short film by Daan Vree
Crowdfunding teaser: 
funded project
donated of €2.000
days to go

Project Information

About the project
LOCKLINE"When you're lost in translation, you're just lost."

Petra (28) was adopted from South Korea. As soon as she receives a letter from her biological mother she is determined to learn Korean. Subsequently, she gets lost in translation.


The life of 28-year-old Petra is turned upside down when she receives a letter and a picture from her birthmother from Korea. She is determined to meet her and ambitiously starts learning the Korean language.


By making HANGUL BLUES we focus on a question that’s been on my mind for a long time: do we need language to love one another? Not according to romantic ideas. Body language should be enough. But is this really the case?

Being someone adopted from Korea, you always dream of your unknown parents in Korea, either consciously or unconsciously. You grow up in a Dutch family and sometimes you forget where you’re from for a minute. Until someone brings to light that you look different. At that moment your thoughts go back to Korea, to that unknown past.

In 2007 I made the ultimate attempt to find my Korean family. I took a leave of absence from work and said I would make an all-or-nothing attempt to get to know more about my background. If this would fail, I would put this subject to rest. I got lucky, because three days before my leave of absence ended, I found my family.

Unfortunately, my parents had passed away already. However, my Korean brothers and I visited the family grave. A translator was needed at all times to discover the stories from the past. As soon as the translator left, we couldn’t do anything else but eat Korean food. Even though I really enjoy Korean food, not knowing the language is a deficiency.

In the build-up to my trip to Korea, I spent some time at the Korean School in Amstelveen. An attempt to try and master the language. I am able to read Hangul, the Korean alphabet. However, my vocabulary is very limited and during conversations I often feel like the mute and the deaf one at the same time. I have taught myself to politely look sheepish. The main problem with this, is that you are never able to say what you’re thinking, you can never really express your emotions.

Sometimes I dream of speaking Korean fluently, but in the reality of the day, that dream fades away. The title of a famous book written by French writer Marcel Proust À La Recherche du Temps Perdu ( In Search of Lost Time) frequently pops into my head. But, like time is an illusion, the search for that time is a fata morgana.

HANGUL BLUES is a subtle drama, in which we witness the struggle of a young woman, who (against her better judgement) tries to master the language. Underneath this is the lifelong, deep need to get in contact with her biological mother. In the end it’s 8-year-old Kwan Mok who teaches her a life lesson of utter importance, without speaking a word.


We, the creators of this film, hope that this story reaches the hearts of many. The 200.000 adopted children from South Korea as well as adopted children from other countries and their parents. Furthermore, this story is recognizable for anyone who’s trying so hard to build a life for themselves, but struggles with the language daily. To actually realize this film, a lot more is needed.

We need a supplement to our budget to produce this film. For example to cover the costs for location, transport, equipment, travel costs, props and clothes. Our donation could make the difference when we eventually finish the project successfully. Every donation is remunerated with a fun reward!


Daan Vree (director)

Judith Mulder (producer)

Jung Sun den Hollander (scriptwriter and lead actress)

Quote that inspired the maker

"To have another language is to possess a second soul."