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Korean Films Made During the Japanese Occupation


The Korea Society and The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) are proud to present seven films from one of the earliest, and most complex, periods of Korean cinema. Recently discovered in a Chinese warehouse and restored by The Korean Film Archive, the films date from the 1930s and '40s, a period when Korea was dominated by the dictates of Japanese colonialists. These dramas are thus uncomfortably pro-Japanese. Yet simultaneously, their rich aesthetics and formal experimentation reach beyond imperial Japanese ideology to express timeless themes of longing, loss and duty. 

The films will be shown in five programs from January 28 through February 1 at The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters at MoMa.
All films are in Korean with English subtitles. 

 

 

Wednesday, January 28 - Sunday, February 1, 2009


Museum of Modern Art
11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

Tickets may be purchased from the MoMA box office. 
Click here for more information. 
(Museum full admission includes any film for that day.)

 


Wednesday, Jan 28   6:00 Spring in the Korean Peninsula 8:00 Straits of Chosun
Thursday, Jan 29     8:00 Fishermen's Fire and Volunteer
Friday, Jan 30   6:00 Angels on the Street 8:00 Sweet Dreams and Military Train
Saturday, Jan 31 1:00 Spring in the Korean Peninsula 3:00 Straits of Chosun 5:00 Angels on the Street
Sunday, Feb 1 1:00 Fishermen's Fire and Volunteer 3:30 Sweet Dreams and Military Train  

 


SPRING IN THE KOREAN PENINSULA (84 min) 1941

Wednesday, January 28 | 6 PM
Saturday, January 31 | 1 PM

Directed by Lee Byeong-Il. Starring Kim Il-Hae, Seo Wol-Young and Kim So-Young. A film adaptation of a traditional Korean tale, Spring in the Korean Peninsula is a backstage romance between a director and an actress that falls into crisis when the director is jailed.


STRAITS OF CHOSUN (75 min) 1943

Wednesday, January 18 | 8 PM
Saturday, January 31 | 3 PM

Directed by Park Ki-Chae. Starring Nam Seung-Min, Moon Yae-Bong and Kim Shin-Jae. Made at the height of World War II, when Japanese censorship was at its tightest, Straits of Chosun tells the bittersweet story of a husband and wife separated by war. 


FISHERMAN'S FIRE (52 min) 1939

Thursday, January 29 | 8 PM
Sunday, February 1 | 1 PM

Directed by Ahn Chul-Yeong. Starring Park Hak, Nah Woong and Park Jung-Kyeong. Following a fisherman's daughter as she moves from her seaside village to bustling Seoul and is quickly beset by shady characters, Fisherman's' Fire is about the things you lose when you lose your home. 


VOLUNTEER (55 min) 1941

Thursday, January 29 | 8 PM
Sunday, February 1 | 1 PM

Directed by Ahn Seok-Young. Starring Choi Woon-Bong, Moon Yae-Bong and Lee Keum-Ryong. A simple Korean farmer's son who aches to leave the countryside behind and fight for Imperial Japan finally gets his chance when colonial authorities enact a draft.


ANGELS ON THE STREET (73 min) 1941

Friday, January 30 | 6 PM
Saturday, January 31 | 5 PM

Directed by Choi In-Kyu. Starring Kim Il-Hae, Moon Yae-Bong and Kim Shin-Jae. Notably realistic for its era in depicting the gritty poverty of contemporary Seoul, Angels on the Street is the story of a man struggling to set up an orphanage for the city's street kids.


SWEET DREAMS (46 min) 1936

Friday, January 30 | 8 PM
Sunday, February 1 | 3:30 PM

Directed by Yang Ju-Nam. Starring Cho Taek-Won, Moon Yae-Bong and Yoo Sun-Ok. Korean cinema's first talkie, Sweet Dreams nearly left audiences speechless with its scandalous melodrama about a wife who abandons her family to live with another man.


MILITARY TRAIN (66 min) 1938

Friday, January 30 | 8 PM
Sunday, February 1 | 3:30 PM

Directed by Seo Kwang-Jae. Starring Wang Pyeong and Moon Yae-Bong. Won-jin passes information about a Japanese military train to resistance fighters, putting the life of his best friend, the engineer, in danger in this hybrid of a spy thriller and a pro-Japanese morality play. 


 

 

 

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