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KOFIC News

Korean Silent Film Fascinates Berlin

Feb 19, 2013
  • Writerby Woody KIM
  • View2691
CROSSROADS OF YOUTH Presented in Forum section of Berlinale
 
 

Crossroads of Youth, directed by AHN Jong-hwa in 1943, screened at the Berlin International Film Festival on February 10th (CET). Crossroads of Youth, the oldest surviving silent film in Korea, was re-staged by the director KIM Tae-yong (Late Autumn) and made into a musical with a narrator’s a musical quartet which was presented in the Forum section of the Berlin International Film Festival. At the screening, cineastes like Gregor, the former director of the Berlin International Film Festival, were in attendance along with normal spectators.

Christoph Terhechte, the director of the Forum section of the Berlin International Film Festival, said as the emcee of the ceremony that he had made significant efforts to invite Crossroads of Youth to the festival since he first saw the film when he visited the Busan International Film Festival in 2011. He also expressed his appreciation to Korean organizations including the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism for supporting the event.


Prior to the screening, the director KIM said, “I welcome you all to the Korea of the 1930s” When the voice acting of the narrator CHO Hee-bong perfectly matched the subtitles, the audiences roared with laughter. They stayed at the theater and applauded long after the film ended.

The viewers were enthusiastic, stating that “Music, musical and opera were all in one film and it was very interesting.”, “The running time was 1h 20m but it felt shorter than that," “I have watched several silent films, but this is totally different from the others” and “When the actors were doing their musical performance, I was confused as I didn't know if they came out of the screen. The film was good especially because the music and the story were in harmony.”

All the 780 seats were fully occupied and many of visitors had to turn back because they couldn’t buy tickets. Tickets, sold for EUR 9 each, were all sold out on the day that booking started. KIM said, “Different from old Western silent films, I added some factors of play by having a narrator and music. I think the audiences like the film because it felt old and new at the same time to them.”
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