From Helpless Victims to Inhumane Criminals Visual Representation of Korean Women in Films about the Korean Conflict
Dr. Sung, Kyoung-Suk

Korea is known in the world as a country that is still divided. It is not currently unusual to hear about North Korean refugees from various social classes, all of whom have individual reasons for their plight, as a result of the current political atmosphere in Kim Jung-Un’s North Korea. Until today the divided Korea is issued in the various parts of South Korea, especially in films from the beginning of the South Korean film history. Korean conflict films are defined as films about political issues regarding national breakdown and the relationship with North Korea as the key topic, and are of nationwide interest. This paper starts by asking how conflict films describe the division of Korea into north and south and how Koreans relate to this. I will analyze how the lives of Korean women from North and South Korea are visually represented by the different filmmakers in this special local film genre. The cinematic rewriting of past and present describes how the Korean War influenced the life of Korean women and asked why they should be depicted as “poor victims”. Since the end of 2000 the topic of North Korean refugees has concerned both Koreas and solutions were demanded urgently to protect human rights in North Korea. This political topic is also represented in films, for example in films that describe genuine episodes of the lack of food in North Korea, which is explained by North Korean refugees. These films strongly criticize the violation of human rights, especially of women. They not only depict tragic family stories but look at them in close connection with the divided Korea. Several films will be organized by theme, for example women before and after the Korean War, to show the life situations of Korea’s women in this film genre

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijgws.v4n2a9