Dirty Hands: Director Harry Kim’s Docu of Street Artist David Choe

Upper Playground presents the Los Angeles theatrical premiere of Dirty Hands, a docu by Harry Kim. 

Director Kim spent eight tumultuous years following a young near-schizophrenic street artist, David Choe, who devises numerous criminal schemes that make it possible for him to hitchhike across the globe.  Choe skirts the legal constraints of society to “freely” create his art.  His nonchalant law-breaking style lands him in jail several times, leading to his eventual demise in solitary confinement in a Tokyo prison cell.  He resurfaces with a radically religious agenda and returns home with hope to overcome his criminal temptations and repair his severed relationships.
The filmmaker (who has been friends with Choe since they met at the Korean-American teenage summer camp in 1990) captures the complexity of David’s life though a collage work of archived childhood home videos, still photographs, intimate artwork, animation, and eight years of footage shot on the road with the artist.
“Dirty Hands” premiered at the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival, and it won the Grand Jury Prize at the San Diego Asian Film Festival.  The film also screened at the Hawaii International Film Festival and the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival.