Along with the oncoming onslaught of new Korean war films and TV dramas marking the Korean War anniversary, Cinematheque KOFA is holding free screenings of Korean war movies. The films that are currently showing coincide with the anniversary of the three year war, one of the bloodiest in history, which began June 25, 1950. The 17 films which span a time period from the 1950's, the decade of the war, until 2005, reflect the nation at different stages of its grieving process.
One of the earliest films in the showcase is "Piagol" produced just three years after the war in 1955. Directed by Lee Kang-cheon the film is a classic allegory of the violence, cold hearted bloodshed and deception seen to be associated with Communism and represents a nation trying to come to grips with the horrors of invasion.
The last film along the time line is the 2005 hit "Welcome to Dongmakgol
". This film could not be more different – a blockbuster that uses tragedy, comedy and melodrama to bring together the heartbreak of war on a personal level for a group of villagers and soldiers who could easily have been brothers and sisters. Other notable films in the showcase include Lee Man-hee-I
's "The Marines Who Never Returned" (1963), "The Red Muffler" (1964) by Shin Sang-ok
and "Five Marines" (1961) directed by Kim Ki-deok.
The Korean Film Archive restores and holds a large number of classic and contemporary Korean films. KOFA also operates three theatres used for showing independent, art house, and foreign films as well as films of particular cultural significance. The Korean War movie showcase is running currently and will wrap up June 30.
David Oxenbridge KOFIC