Yoon Myung and Tai Sook Suh immigrated to America for a better life for their children, Andrew and Catherine. But their pursuit of happiness quickly became riddled with misfortune, culminating on September 25, 1993, when Andrew shot and killed his older sister’s fiancé of eight years, Robert O’Dubaine, at Catherine’s bidding.
Those closest to Andrew expressed shock and disbelief: how could a young man with a promising future allow himself to be convinced into committing murder? As the Suh’s complex history unfolds, issues of cultural assimilation, traditional values and justice are examined, raising questions of guilt, innocence and the illusive gray area in between.
Eric Hung from the 2010 San Diego Asian Film Festival says,” “The House of Suh” is by no means a one-sided film; Andrew is a complex person, and deserves to be portrayed as one. I also do not doubt Andrew’s lawyer’s contentions that the prosecution misunderstood Andrew’s motives and that his 100-year sentence is substantially beyond the norm for this type of crime. That said, I do wonder whether the film’s portrayal is a little too sympathetic. One problem is that we never hear from Catherine Suh, who is portrayed as such a monster in the film. This is unavoidable, as she did not cooperate or meet with the filmmakers. Another problem is that Andrew, who even while admitting the heinous nature of his crime, seems to blame his actions almost exclusively on his heritage, specifically the idea of filial piety. Is this really a convincing explanation for a murder in modern Korean or American society?”
Best Documentary/Audience Award at the Philadelphia Asian Film Festival.
Grand Jury Prize at the San Diego Asian Film Festival.
Directed by Iris K. Shim.
Originally from Chicago, IL, Iris K. Shim graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2004 with a B.A. in Psychology. After a year long stint in Los Angeles working on several films, including a documentary directed by Academy Award winner Jessica Yu, Iris returned to Chicago to produce and direct her first documentary short, OF KIN AND KIND, which tells the story of Andrew Suh, a man who, at the age of 19, was sentenced to a 100 year prison term for the shooting death of his older sister’s fiancé at her bidding. The film screened at the 2007 DisOrient Film Festival in Eugene, OR and the 2007 Chicago Underground Film Festival. THE HOUSE OF SUH is the full-length version of Of Kin and Kind and is Iris’ debut feature documentary.
Produced by Iris K. Shim, Gerry Kim and Joseph Lee.