London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Jeon Kyu-hwan’s Town Trilogy is complete with Dance Town, Thursday at the KCC

If you didn’t manage to catch Dance Town at the London Korean Film Festival last year, now’s your chance – as part of this month’s Jeon Kyu-hwan retrospective at the KCC:

Dance Town (댄스 타운, 2010)

Dance Town poster7pm, 20th Sept 2012
Director: Jeon Kyu-hwan
Cast: Rha Mi-ran, Seong-tae Oh.
Genre: Drama
Certificate: 18 (South Korea)
Nobody under the age of 18 can be admitted this film
Running Time: 94 min
Book on the KCC website here


Jung-Nim, a North Korean middle class worker, defects from the North following the accusation of watching a porn video. Her husband barely gets Jung-Nim out of the country but is arrested by the North Korean security forces. Jung-Nim lives inSouth Korea under the surveillance of Kim Soo-Jin, who was assigned to do this by the government. Jung-Nim feels lonely, and then meets Oh Sung-Tae, a patrolman. But as time goes by, it’s her husband that Jung-Nim misses and worries about more and more. It is then that she hears news about her imprisoned husband through her watchdog Soo-Jin…

Still from Dance Town

The Director

At first glance it may appear that Jeon Kyu Hwan at the age of 43 made his directorial debut comparatively late. However, when one watches his films one immediately sees the work of a storyteller whose pieces are defined by the raw emotions and experiences that can only come with a life of observation. Having achieved recognition and critical acclaim across the globe for his ‘Town Trilogy’ it can be said that Director Jeon is better known abroad than he is at home; however this is changing somewhat as his canon of work expands and his work becomes more accessible. Director Jeon’s films have been said to focus upon the lives the underdog, the minority, those in society whose lack of economic control over their lives opens them to abuse from all quarters.

In this sense Director Jeon’s films cover subjects that are challenging to say the least; however each is enveloped in a rich visual imagery that creates a body of work that remains with the viewer for some time. Incredibly popular on the festival circuit Director Jeon has shown his films at over 30 Festivals across the globe. In this time he has also become a champion for the independent filmmaker, promoting the awareness of independent film and the talent it produces.

With ‘Dance Town’ (2010) Director Jeon completed his Town series by continuing to present a style of realism and social criticism that gained him global recognition when his film was selected for the Berlin International Film Festival. Rhee Jung- nim played by Rha Mi-ran is a North Korean citizen who chooses to defect with her husband but only Jung-nim manages to complete the traumatic journey. Assigned a case-officer to oversee her acclimatisation, Rhee Jung-nim attempts to build a new life in the South. Lonely, out casted, desperate she slowly begins to make friends with fellow outcasts who each have their own motives for befriending her. In this very powerful film Director Jeon completes his story of the city and the power it has to leave unwanted marks upon you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.