Lee is very humble about her projects however; her films have been recognized by many film awards such as the Canadian Screen Award for Best History, the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary and more. I think it is fascinating that she has had no formal training in filmmaking. She has told compelling and painful stories of people who have otherwise been named voiceless. Lee is determined to expose her audience to issues of injustice that could be happening right under their noses (for ex; migrant workers in Canada).
Lee is no stranger to racism, as an immigrant from Korea, she revealed in an interview that she has been subject to racist name calling whilst growing up in Canada. Lee explains that there shouldn’t be racial limits on which stories she is allowed to tell. “I’m interested in resistance!” Lee believes media makers should not only be confined to stories that are personally linked to them. As a storyteller/activist/documentary maker, there are hardships faced because people show surprise, skepticism or resistance towards the media maker. Ramsaroop posed questions pertaining to how documentaries can be made. What’s the story? How is the story structured? Who can tell it? Media makers inevitably will face challenges revolving around controversial stories they want to tell.
Lee stressed the importance of maintaining trust and respect within interviewees and a film crew. Her films share very personal stories, often following the same individuals throughout the film. This level of exposed vulnerability and honesty is difficult to achieve on film, but Lee has a reputation of building strong relationships and bonds with the people she works with.
Lee and Chris commented on how cases of injustice resonate differently with people that have direct connections to those affected. Their mission is to make people not only aware but to make people care about these issues. Just because something does not directly affect you, does not mean it does not exist for others.
From afar, Canada strikes many as a place of freedom and job opportunities and this is what attracts thousands of migrant workers year after year. However, migrant worker programs enforce very strict policies, there is a very intense power imbalance between employer and migrant worker. Issues of poor work conditions, abuse and injustice are often not explored by the media; hence the lack of awareness from the public. How are people supposed to care, if they don’t even know it’s happening? This is Min Sook Lee’s mission.