Documentaries

The award-winning Korean documentary Non-Fiction Diary is screening at the East End Film Festival at the Barbican on 15 June, with Q&A: Non-Fiction Diary (Jung Yoon-suk, 2013) + Q&A with director Jung Yoon-suk and Cinematographer Heo Chul-nyung East End Film Festival, 4pm, 15 June, The Barbican  An exploration of the traumatic events that shook Korea in […]

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BBC Panorama on Pyongyang University of Science & Technology

by Philip Gowman 3 February 2014
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Tonight’s BBC documentary on PUST is already generating column inches. The Independent calls the university, which is backed by South Korean and US charities, a “Trojan Horse”, though some regard such language as unhelpful. A long trailer article for the programme is now up on the BBC website. After its 8:30pm screening tonight it will […]

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Twinsters featured in Metro

by Philip Gowman 2 February 2014
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The heartwarming story of two identical twins from Busan being adopted and brought up in separate continents made it into London freesheet the Metro yesterday. Samantha and Anais, having successfully raised $30,000 for phase 1 of an autobiographical documentary project on Kickstarter, are now looking to raise $80,000 for post-production. They are over a quarter […]

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BBC cover North Korean cinema

by Philip Gowman 3 January 2014
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There’s a good article on North Korean cinema posted yesterday by Helier Cheung on to the BBC website: Ten things: North Korea’s film industry. The article draws on the work of Johannes Schönherr and on Lynn Lee and James Leong’s documentary The Great North Korean Picture Show which screened in Bermondsey a couple of months ago. […]

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North Korea – Life Inside the Secret State

by Philip Gowman 10 November 2013
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To add to the steady stream of documentaries about North Korea, Channel 4′s Dispatches programme has just made one entitled North Korea – Life Inside the Secret State. It will be on the TV soon (though precisely when is not clear from the Channel 4 website), but if you can’t wait there’s a preview screening […]

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The Great North Korean Picture Show – screening in Bermondsey

by Philip Gowman 4 October 2013
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An interesting documentary coming in Bermondsey later this month: The Great North Korean Picture Show (2012) A Documentary Feature Film by Lynn Lee & James Leong Korean/English with English Subtitles, 93 MIN 26 October 2013, 1.40 PM Shortwave Cinema | 10 Bermondsey Square | London SE1 3UN | TEL: 020 7357 6845 ADMISSION: tbc SHORT […]

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Yodok Stories – Documentary screening and Q&A

by Philip Gowman 4 October 2013
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Amnesty International UK is a regular host of events which shine the spotlight on human rights abuses in North Korea. This coming Tuesday you have an opportunity to watch a documentary about the notorious Yodok camp, followed by Q&A with a former prisoner there. Yodok Stories – Documentary screening and Q&A An evening of North […]

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The Ghosts of Jeju to screen at SOAS

by Philip Gowman 3 October 2013
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Those who are eager to watch Jiseul (and here’s hoping it will be getting a London screening soon) will want to watch this documentary to fill in some of the background. It also provides context to the protests about the Gangjeong naval base. The Ghosts of Jeju Dir: Regis Tremblay, 2013, 80 mins Brunei Gallery, […]

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Crossing – the defector documentary by Kim Tae-gyun – screens at Amnesty International

by Philip Gowman 20 June 2013
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A quick note of an upcoming film screening at Amnesty International: Crossing (크로싱, dir Kim Tae-gyun, South Korea, 2008) Venue: Amnesty International UK, The Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA Date: Mon 24 Jun 2013, 7.00 pm The film details the tragic plight of Kim Yong Soo, a well-known ex-footballer […]

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The Korean War in Colour screens at SOAS

by Philip Gowman 5 May 2013
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Something slightly different for SOAS’s evening Korean Studies seminar this time: a documentary film screening, with Q&A with the director, in this 60th anniversary year of the 1953 armistice. The Korean War in Colour Stewart Binns (Documentary Filmmaker) Date: 10 May 2013, 5:15 – 7:00 PM Venue: Russell Square, College Buildings, Room 4418 Film screening […]

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I compromised the LSE and my tour guides…

by Philip Gowman 15 April 2013
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“I compromised the LSE and my tour guides, and all I could produce was a lousy tourist video,” would be a suitable slogan for the T-shirt of tonight’s BBC Panorama programme. OK, so they also interviewed BR Myers, John Everard and a defector or two, but really it was not worth all the hype and […]

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Twinsters – what a compelling story

by Philip Gowman 4 April 2013
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On February 21, 2013, Samantha, an American actor living in Los Angeles, received a message via Facebook that would drastically change her life. It was from Anaïs, a French fashion design student living in London. Anaïs’ friends viewed a YouTube video featuring Samantha. They were immediately blown away by the identical appearance of Samantha & […]

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Couleur de peau: Miel, aka Approved for Adoption, screens at Leeds Young Film Fest

by Philip Gowman 1 April 2013
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If it wasn’t for the fact that London has a date with Moon So-ri this Thursday, I’d be leaving work early, getting on a train to Leeds and sitting down to watch this film. I do hope it comes to London at some stage. It’s the animated autobiography of a Korean adoptee in Belgium. Korean […]

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Captain Kang screens at CinemAsia

by Philip Gowman 1 April 2013
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Back in 2011, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam gave us the wonderful Planet of Snail. This month, another Amsterdam film festival, CinemAsia, will be screening a new Korean documentary – Captain Kang, which premiered at Busan 2012. Captain Kang (강선장) Director: Won Ho-yeon (원호연) South Korea, 2012, HDcam, 75′ Sunday 7 April, 13.20 This […]

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Extreme School?

by Philip Gowman 18 March 2013
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I’m not sure that it’s appropriate to call the particular school in South Korea “extreme”. Pupils showing respect and working hard shouldn’t be regarded as extreme. Rather, wouldn’t it be nice if the behaviour of the two Swansea kids was regarded as extreme? On CBBC, 21 March at 4:30pm Extreme School: South Korea Two year […]

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Camp 14 – Total Control Zone at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival

by Philip Gowman 10 March 2013
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One of the most prominent publications last year on the subject of North Korea was Escape from Camp 14 – the story of an escapee from one of North Korea’s death camps. While such a story is rare in itself, what makes Shin Dong-hyuk’s tale more remarkable is that he was actually born in one […]

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Kung Fu Grandma: documentary by a London-based Korean director screens at LSFF

by Philip Gowman 14 December 2012
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Some of you may be focused on Wembley Arena right now, but others may well already be planning your diaries for the New Year. If so, make a note of 12 January at the Roxy: the London Short Film Festival, featuring Kung Fu Grandma, a short by Jeong-One Park. Jeong-One Park grew up in Seoul […]

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