Cultural Spheres Of Korean Cinema

Decent Essays
Sopyonje and Madame Freedom inhabit two unique cultural spheres of Korean Cinema. While both films show a glimpse into a “traditional” Korean world; they were produced in different contexts. Sopyonje, made in 1993, can be considered a romanticized “nostalgia” film that projects an image of a Korea that no longer exists in present day. The film focuses on the story of a non-blood related family who struggles to make a living by traveling through the Korean countryside performing pansori at parties and private homes. It follows the lives of a father, his adopted daughter, and his stepson through the 1930s to the 1960s. Many critics regarded the film as a revival of pride for South Korean culture. By projecting an image of “Koreanness” through the inclusion of traditional elements like pansori, which is considered an authentically Korean form of singing and the depiction of a false romanticized Korean countryside the film garnered national success. Unbeknownst to Director Im Kwon-taek Sopyonje would go on to become one of the most popular films in South Korean history. (Cho) “Ultimately this movie’s excitement comes from its Koreanness. Its greatest attraction is that it calls up a nostalgia for “[Korean] culture” which cannot be found in a contemporary hectic lifestyle.” These were the words of one of Hae Jong Cho’s students in a reflection essay about Sopyonje. The “Koreanness” that this student is referring to is the perceived ability of this film to unite Korean people
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