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Korean Film News

BFI and KCCUK Team Up for Colonial Era Korean Film Program

Feb 08, 2019
  • Writerby Pierce Conran
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Classic Film Series Marks 100th Anniversary of Korean Cinema


In order to commemorate the first 100 years of Korean cinema, BFI Southbank and the Korean Cultural Center UK (KCCUK) have teamed up to present all the existing feature-length Korean films that were produced prior to 1945, during the Korea’s Colonial Era. The series, which is entitled Early Korean Cinema: Lost Films From the Japanese Colonial Period’, began on February 7 and will continue through to February 28.

The section kicked off on the 7 with a special performance of AHN Jong-hwa’s Crossroads of Youth (1934), Korea’s oldest surviving film. The film was accompanied by musicians, a narrator and various actors who brought the story to life. Among the other films in the program are Military Train (1938), Volunteer (1941), Patriots Day in Joseon (1940), Tuition (1940), Japanese Chronicles (1943) and Joseon News No. 11 (1943).

Mostly produced between 1910 and 1945, the period during which Korea was a colony of the Japanese Empire, the works screening in the program, which will include melodramas, newsreels and propaganda films, were all thought to be lost prior to the year 2000. The program, which features restorations performed by the Korean Film Archive (KOFA), all screening in the UK for the first time, is being co-curated by Kate TAYLOR-JONES, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield, and Hyun Jin CHO, the Film Curator at the KCCUK.

Closing the program at the end of the month will be CHOI In-kyu’s Hurrah For Freedom (1945), which celebrates Korean independence and was the first Korean film to be produced following Japan’s defeat in World War II and withdrawal from the Korean peninsula.
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