Date: Wednesday, 2 May 2007
Title: Koryo Saram – The Unreliable People (one hour documentary film)*
Director: Y. David Chung
Director of Photography and Editor: Matt Dibble
Executive Producer: Meredith Woo
Historical Consultant: German Kim (Kazakh State University)
Venue: Khalili Lecture Theatre, Main Building, SOAS
*The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with David Chung and German Kim, makers of the film
In 1937 Stalin began a campaign of massive ethnic cleansing and forcibly deported everyone of Korean origin living in the coastal provinces of the Russian Far East, near the border with North Korea to the unsettled steppe country of Central Asia 3,700 miles away. This story of 180,000 Koreans who became political pawns during the Great Terror is the central focus of this film. With political scientist and executive producer Meredith Jung-En Woo and cameraman Matt Dibble, Chung travelled to film the survivors of the deportation and their descendants who still live in Kazakhstan today. The documentary reveals their harrowing saga of survival in the open steppe country and the sweep of Soviet history through the eyes of the deported Koreans, who were designated by Stalin as an “unreliable people” and enemies of the state. Through recently uncovered archival footage and new interviews, the film follows the deportees’ history of integrating into the Soviet system while working under punishing conditions in Kazakhstan, a country which became a concentration camp for exiled people from throughout the Soviet Union.
(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.