This examination of the role of Korean film as a cultural text of Koreans in both the North and South focuses on the conflicting self-identities of a people still strongly committed to their common cultural traditions despite political division. This study defines the significance of filmmaking and film viewing in Korean society. It covers the introduction of motion pictures in 1903, Korean cinema during the Japanese colonial period (1910-45) and the development of North and South Korean cinema up to the 1990s. It introduces the works of Korea's major directors, and analyzes the Korean film industry in terms of film production, distribution and reception. Based on this historical analysis, the study investigates ideological constructs in 17 films, eight from North Korea and nine from South Korea.
Hyangjin Lee is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the School of East Asian Studies at the University of Sheffield