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Contemporary Korean Cinema: Culture, Identity and Politics

Publisher: , 2001
Link to online store *

From the publisher’s website:

The first in-depth, comprehensive study of Korean cinema offering original insight into the relationships between ideology and the art of cinema from East Asian perspectives. Combines issues of contemporary Korean culture and cinematic representation of the society and people in both North and South Korea. Covers the introduction of motion pictures in 1903, Korean cinema during the Japanese colonial period (1910-45) and the development of North and South Korean cinema up to the 1990s. Introduces the works of Korea’s major directors, and analyses the Korean film industry in terms of film production, distribution and reception. Based on this historical analysis, the study investigates ideological constructs in seventeen films, eight from North Korea and nine from South Korea.



Part one: The creation of national identity: a history of cinema

  1. Korean film during the Japanese colonial period
  2. The development of North Korean film
  3. The development of South Korean film

Part two: Gender and cinematic adaptations of Ch’unhyangjon

  1. The origin of Ch’unhyangjon
  2. The significance of Ch’unhyangjon in Korean film history
  3. The images of Ch’unhyangjon in South Korean films
  4. The images of Ch’unhyangjon in North Korean films
  5. Ch’unhyangjon and patriarchal gender realtions in Korean society

Part three: Nationhood and the cinematic representation of history

  1. Anti-imperialism in three North Korean films
  2. Anti-commmunism in three South Korean films
  3. Familyhood and nationhood

Part four: Class and cultural identities in contemporary Korea

  1. Class conflicts in three North Korean films
  2. Class dynamics in three South Korean films
  3. Class experience and the cultural tradition


Read a review in the Korean Studies Portal

LKL says:

If you can cut through the occasionally inelegant prose this book is a very interesting study, particularly for its inclusion of North Korean films. Recommended.

LKL rating: score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0

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