'Independent documentary film making in South Korea' by Dong-Won Kim

woensdag 28 maart 2018, 19:30 - 21:30 uur

Wednesday, 28 March 2018, 19:30-21:30 hrs.
Film Academy cinema

In this lecture, the acclaimed film maker Dong-won Kim will trace the beginning of independent documentary filmmaking in South Korea. By showing clips from his films Repatriation and his most recent film Jung Il-woo, My Friend, he will talk about his perspectives on the practice, the difficulties and current trends in the field of documentary film making in his country.

About Dong-won Kim
As the leader of PURN Production, a documentary production house that focuses on unearthing the contradictions of Korean society from a progressive viewpoint, Dong-won Kim is seen as the godfather of Korean documentaries. Purporting to make “good,” rather than “fun” movies, his camera zooms in on the dark corners of the society, places full of contradictions and refuges of the socially disadvantaged. Kim’s films provide textbook examples for Korea’s documentary directors that followed in his footsteps.

His debut movie, Sangye-dong Olympics (1987), deals with people of Sangye-dong, an area of Seoul that was torn down by the government in the years leading up to the Seoul Olympics of 1988 only because the area was “not easy on the eyes”. In Repatriation (2004), arguably his best work, Dong-won Kim’s camera follows in breathing distance the lives of unconverted long-term pro-North Korea prisoners in South Korean jails. Devoid of any traces of exaggeration or direction, Repatriation shows the power of documentary by capturing the essence of the subjects through long and candid takes. 

Repatriation was presented with the Freedom of Expression Award at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, the first time a Korean film has ever been presented with an award at the prestigious U.S. festival. It also won Special Mention at the 24th Korean Association of Film Critics’ Awards and Special Jury Prize at the 5th Busan Film Critics Awards in 2004, as well as Best Documentary Award at the 19th Fribourg International Film Festival in 2005. 

Recently, he made a documentary film Jung Il-woo, My Friend (2017) which is a 'small dedication' to Father Il-woo Jung (John Daly) who has been fighting alongside the country's poor population against political repression in Korea.