Jackii Chun ’10 majored in film studies at UC Davis and is now directing a documentary about filmmaking.
Brainwashed aims to show how practices in cinema contribute to objectification of women. The project was conceived by film director Nina Menkes and is based on her live presentation “Sex and Power: The Visual Language of Oppression.” The documentary is currently in post-production, with a possible release in spring 2021.
“I think because I love films more than anything else, I tend to want to make films about filmmaking itself, which is why I was really excited to direct Brainwashed,” said Chun. “We critique widely celebrated, A-list films of the cinematic canon — many that I grew up with and love myself — not as an effort to take them down or say that these are bad movies, but to bring attention to certain moments in these films that deserve to be looked at with a more critical eye.”
Chun recently completed her M.F.A. at California Institute of the Arts, where Menkes was one of her instructors. In graduate school, she said, she focused on developing skills she could use in any possible career. She gained experience as a producer.
She credited years at UC Davis with giving her a well-rounded education. She took classes in theater and art, in addition to film studies.
“When I look back at my time at UC Davis, it was the time I needed to focus on personal growth and to be in a supportive environment,” she said. “It was the first time I felt like I could be myself.”
Now, Chun, who is based in Los Angeles, is working from home to create the director’s cut of Brainwashed, and move forward on an experimental narrative film.
“I look at this as a time to plant a lot of seeds,” she said.