Organized Panel Session
The proposed panel explores North Korean cinema through various topics such as gender, film studies, nationalist discourse, traditions, and value systems in order to reveal different formations of “Koreanness” or national identity of North Korea and their effects on the South Korean film industry. By way of discussing the cinematic discourse of 20th century Korea and the relationship between performance and social identity, the panel aims to re-conceptualize the cross-cultural relations of North Korea while engaging in the growing rapprochement between the two Koreas.
Specifically, Kyong-Mi Kwon examines North and South Koreas’ film adaptations of a popular Korean folktale, Ch’unhyang jŏn in order to explore different film styles through which the two Koreas accentuated the same traditions and values to yield different impact on the audiences. Xiaoqian Song traces the life of the North Korean actress, Moon Ye-bong, whose film career reflects the changes in the film aesthetics of Colonial Korea and North Korea. Gabor Sebo explores some of Sin Sang-ok’s most representative North Korean film productions in order to discuss a shift in North Korean cinema initiated by Sin’s new film styles and techniques that offered conflicting ideas and visions to the regime and the audiences. Lastly, Kwang-Woo Noh demonstrates that the recent South Korean action films reconstruct images of masculinity by way of exploiting North Korean defectors and spies in the film.