Film screening followed by discussion with Professor Theodore Jun Yoo, University of Hawaii
The heart-scraping Korean doc Repatriation follows a group of elderly ex-prisoners jailed in the South for decades after being caught spying for the North. Tortured, many renounced Communism; upon release, those who remained unconverted lived (and sometimes died) in the South before heading home, where they were hailed as heroes.
For more reviews on Repatriation, go to www.koreanfilm.org/docs.html#repatriation.
(part of the IF YOU WERE ME series, #2)
Jung Ji-woo's, "A Boy With The Knapsack" is a sparingly dialogued, black and white study of the lives of North Korean (illegal) refugees in South Korea. The pacing is perfect, the images of the friends in arms racing through the city still stay with me, and there's a nice little placement of one of the symbols of capitalism that brought a bit of laughter to what is otherwise a short full of sorrow, even more sorrowful considering its partly based on a true story.
Kim Seon-ho (Cha Seung-won, My Teacher Mr. Kim, Blood Rain), a horn player, is leading a happy middle-class life, along with his elderly but active parents and the married sister's family. He enjoys an occasional stroll on the neighborhood riverbank and a dish of cold buckwheat noodles. Recently Seon-ho has fallen head over heels for the beautiful museum guide Young-hwa (Jo Yi-jin, The Aggressives), a girl as "fresh and clean as a swig of dongchimi (cold radish kimchi juice made without red pepper)." When his father (Song Jae-ho) takes up a correspondence with his presumed-to-be-dead grandfather, however, things begin to unravel. You see, Seon-ho is a North Korean. And the grandfather, whom the family thought was an honored Communist hero, has been living in South Korea all these years. Threatened with exposure, Seon-ho's family decides to risk their lives and seek asylum south of the border.
Open to the public
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