Dai Sil Kim-Gibson

Lowell Lecture

People Are the Sky – A Journey to North Korea

Date & Time

Nov. 3, 2015 at 5 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.


Boston University Sherman Union Auditorium
775 Commonwealth Ave Boston , MA 02215
Driving Directions


Dai Sil Kim-Gibson and Hee-Soo Jung

Presenting Organization

Boston University School of Theology


Current Affairs History Theology


Jaclyn Jones (jkjones@bu.edu, (617) 353-2349)

Join us for the premiere showing of Dai Sil Kim-Gibson’s documentary on North Korea, People are the Sky: A Journey to North Korea, and a conversation with the director and Bishop Hee-Soo Jung. This is part of the annual BU School of Theology theme, “Power, Privilege, and Prophetic Witness.” This is a personal film connecting two ideas: search for home and ordinary people as the sky. After losing her Iowa farm boy husband Don—her home—in 2009, a northern Korea born Korean American filmmaker makes a pilgrimage to her place of birth in North Korea for the first time in nearly 70 years, to explore if it is still home. Searching for home in the cities and mountains of the country shrouded in myth and misunderstanding, she meets ordinary citizens, in-min. Eventually she finds home not in places, not in North Korea as a country, but in the ordinary people. People Are the Sky, Dai Sil Kim-Gibson’s eighth, and most personal film,connects two ideas: the search for home, and the nature of ordinary people, while exploring the evolution of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in relation to the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the USA.
Kim-Gibson was born in North Korea, crossed the 38th parallel in 1945, grew up in Seoul until she came to the US to study in 1962. She subsequently married a Iowa fram boy turned historian. Thus her story has two sides: North and South, Korean and American.

Dai Sil Kim-Gibson is an independent filmmaker/writer who is widely known for championing the compelling but neglected issues of human rights, marked by her imprint of humanizing the storytellers and inventive formats. Her film credits include America Becoming, Sa-I-Gu, A Forgotten People: the Sakhalin Koreans, Olivia’s Story, Silence Broken: Korean Comfort Women, Wet Sand, Motherland (Cuba Korea USA). Her films were critically acclaimed here and abroad. “A film translating mute statistics into human terms,” by the Business Week Magazine for Sa-I –Gu (April 29), "a classic work of oral history,” by the Washington City Paper for A Forgotten People, “a wrenching and formally inventive film," by the Village Voice, "A hauntingly brilliant film,” by the Asian Week, Los Angeles for Silence Broken. All of her films garnered many awards and were screened at numerous festivals worldwide, in addition to national broadcast on PBS, on the Sundance Channel in the United States. Among many awards, she received a Rockefeller Fellowship for Silence Broken and a production grant from the MacArthur Foundation for Sa-I-Gu. An author of numerous articles, Silence Broken: Korean Comfort Women is her first book (The Philadelphia Inquirer, "unforgettable") and her second book is Looking for Don: A Meditation. She edited and compiled a memoir by her late husband, Donald D. Gibson, Iowa Sky, A Memoir and her own memoir, Korean Sky is now available at Amazon.com. A former professor of Religion at Mount Holyoke College with a Ph.D in Religion from Boston University and a federal and state employee, film-making is her third career.

Responder: Hee-Soo Jung was born in Kwang hwa do, Korea. He came to the United States in 1982. His family was in the Confucian/Buddhist tradition and, at 16 years of age, he became the first converted Christian in his family. Hee-Soo Jung holds degrees from Methodist Theological Seminary, Dongguk University Graduate School in Seoul, Korea; Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California; Institute of Buddhist Studies, Berkeley, California and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition, he has completed the Upper Room's Two-Year Academy for Spiritual Formation. He has served congregations in Wisconsin, California, and Texas since 1982, and has served as Nicolet District Superintendent of the Wisconsin Annual Conference. His passionate leadership has been focused on Korean-American Churches and cross-racial appointments in urban, rural and suburban churches. Hee-Soo Jung was elected to the episcopacy in 2004 by the North Central Jurisdictional Conference and assigned to the Chicago Area, Northern Illinois Conference. After serving the Chicago Area for 8 years, he was assigned to the Wisconsin Area in July 2012.