The Power of Cinema on the Korean Peninsula

Samyel Lee

Global Politics Review
Vol. 1, No. 1 (October 2015): 83-94.
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1238598
GPR ID: 2464-9929_v01_i01_p83
Published: 30 October 2015

Abstract: The Korean peninsula is constantly in a dynamic discussion of identity and direction. For South Korean society, it is no surprise that the Korean War and the existential threat that North Korea poses loom large over its collective conscience. Although mostly disregarded within scholarly discussions in international relations, cinema has always been, and continues to be, an insightful, powerful, and transformative forum. This essay discusses the ways in which cinema as an art form has been able to impact the way that South Korean society evolves, especially as an interpretative medium that argues for the ways in which the Korean demos should understand its own history as well as the the ongoing struggle with the enigma that is North Korea. In particular, the essay examines two movies in detail – Brotherhood and Welcome to Dongmakgol – to reveal how the same socio-political discussions are going on beneath the surface of two seemingly completely different genres of Korean War movies. Led by these persuasive works of art, the essay argues, Korean society is already moving in a post-modern and humanist direction and suggests that as a democracy, Korean society should embrace the power of cinema in both internal and external affairs.

Keywords: Cinema, Film, North Korea, Welcome to Dongmakgol, Post-modernism, Korean War.

Copyright by the Author.  This is an Open Access article licensed by Global Politics Review under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License Creative Commons License// Disclaimer: the copyright and license of this article changed on October 30, 2017, when GPR became Open Access. The PDF file has not been updated for archival purposes. //

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