The documentary was aired last Thursday, 6 February. <small> Cover image via MBC Documentary </small>
A special television documentary depicting the journey of a Korean mother meeting her deceased daughter in virtual reality (VR) has driven many who have watched it to tears
The Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) documentary, aptly titled <i>I Met You</i>, was aired on 6 February.
Jang Ji-Sung is a sorrow-stricken mother who is featured in the documentary, reported Korea-based news portal Aju Business Daily.
In 2016, Jang lost her third child, Nayeon, to a rare incurable disease. She was only seven years old at the time.
It took the production team eight months to construct Nayeon’s face, body, and voice
Mounted to a VR headgear and a pair of dedicated gloves, Jang reunited with Nayeon in a virtual park.
She stood in a green screen room as Nayeon’s father, brother, and sister sat behind the camera to watch Jang interact with her baby girl.
“Where are you?” the mother asked as she took small steps around the space.
Nayeon then appeared behind a woodpile and asked if her mother thinks about her.
“Everyday,” Jang replied.
The mother broke down in tears as she fumbled her hands to reach Nayeon, only to realise she could not physically touch her.
According to a viewer who translated the whole documentary, Jang began to ask a series of questions concerning Nayeon’s well-being
<b>"My dear, Nayeon. Nayeon,"</b> Jang murmured.
“You have been doing well, right? I missed you a lot. Nayeon, you are doing well, right? My beautiful Nayeon, I really want to hug you in my arms, I really missed you.”
The family who was watching by the side eventually broke down in tears.
The documentary was filmed on Nayeon’s birthday
In the virtual reality, Nayeon brought Jang to a nearby table where she introduced a fairy creature to her mother before sitting down to celebrate her birthday.
“Maybe it’s a real paradise,” Jang told Aju Business Daily, “I met Nayeon, who called me with a smile – for a very short time, but it’s a very happy time. I think I’ve had the dream I’ve always wanted.”
Sharing on her blog, Jang wrote that her intention of agreeing to the documentary is to help other mothers to overcome the pain of losing a child
Between the night the documentary aired and the next morning, Aju Business Daily reported that more than 200,000 people visited the mother's blog.
“Three years later, I now think I should love her more than miss her and feel sick, so that I can be confident when I meet her later. I hope many people will remember Nayeon after watching the show,” Jang wrote on her blog, which has since been closed.
At the time of writing, the documentary was viewed over 9.3 million times on YouTube
Many netizens felt Jang's pain after watching it and did not shy away from telling how much it made them cry.
“This is another level of heartbreaking,” a netizen said.
"Every time they switch the VR camera to the real camera and I see her desperately touching <b>nothing</b>. I feel like [I'm] getting stabbed in my heart," another netizen commented.<br></br></p> <p>One YouTube user said, "When you do not speak the language, but you still comprehend it and feel everything."<br></br></p> <p>"She wants to hug her, but... This so fu**ing sad," a netizen lamented.<br></br></p>
Watch the documentary here:
You can read the written translation as done by YouTube user Hackga here.
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