Korean War Film Seminar at USYD

10 05 2010

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War which resulted in over 4 million civilian and military deaths and a legacy that still poses a threat to global security today. So why do so few people know anything about it? Why is it called the “Forgotten War”?

Let us put you in the frame – we’ll show you how it was seen at the time through the eyes of communist and anti-communist filmmakers.

The Forgotten War – Remembered in Film.

Speakers: Associate Professor Judith Keene, Dr Jane Park, Dr Leonid Petrov.
Date: Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Time: 5.30 – 9.00 pm
Venue: Old Geology Lecture Theatre, Edgeworth David Building (adjacent Parramatta Rd and Footbridge Theatre), The University of Sydney.

Discussion will be followed by a classic film of the Korean conflict – “The Taebaek Mountains” (1994, Director: Im Kwŏntaek, 164 min.)

Based on Cho Chongrae’s bestselling novel of the same title, this epic film chronicles events that took place in the small town of Pŏlgyo in the Southern Chŏlla Province before and during the Korean War. A sweeping historical saga is combined with the intimate portraits of ordinary Koreans trapped in the horrors of internecine ideological warfare.

Free entry. For more information contact Elizabeth Connor on +61(2)9351 3551.

North Korean Film Screening – 19 May, Wednesday, at 5.30pm, The University of Sydney.

Venue: Old Geology Lecture Theatre, Edgeworth David Building (adjacent Parramatta Rd and Footbridge Theatre) http://db.auth.usyd.edu.au/directories/map/building.stm?ref=A15D22
Presenter: Dr Leonid Petrov, Department of Korean Studies, SLC

5:30pm – Film presentation and discussion.

“The Wolmi Island” [Wolmido] (1982, Director Cho Gyong-sun)

This North Korean film gives a vivid representation of the tragic fate of coastal battery unit that fought to the last man protecting the Wolmi Island in September 1950. Countering 50,000 troops and over 500 warships of General MacArthur, the North Korean battery commander Li Tae-un and his company men checked the UN landing operation for three days by displaying unprecedented bravery and a high degree of self-sacrificing spirit. This film also depicts the role of women conscripted to participate in the Korean War alongside with men on the frontline and in the rear.

6:00pm – Film screening in Korean (no subtitles, synopsis in English is available at http://koreanstudies.anu.edu.au/abstracts/destiny%20of%20synop.pdf )

“The Destiny of Keum-hee and Eun-hee” [Keumhee-wa Eunhee-ui unmyong]

(1974, Directors: Pak Hak and Eom Kil-seon, 101 min.)

One of the classics of North Korean cinematography, this film emulates the best examples of Soviet and Chinese film-making traditions. The story is based on the famous novel by Paek In-jun about the twins separated by the Korean War. Never heard about each other again, the twin-sisters live in the very different societies separated by the civil and ideological conflict. Keum-hee lives a happy and comfortable life in North Korea, where she can see her talent for singing and dancing fulfilled. Her sister, Eun-hee, on the contrary, is destined to suffer in the South, surrounded by social evils and class inequality. This film laments the national division and masterfully portrays the grim reality of the post-war time in Korea.

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