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The Past Is a Strange Country (Kwagŏ nǔn nassŏn narada)

The Past Is a Strange Country (Kwagŏ nǔn nassŏn narada) Film Review The Past Is a Strange Country (Kwago niin nasson narada) writ­ ten and directed by Kim Eung-soo (Kim Ongsu). South Korea. A Kim Se- jin/Yi Chae-ho Commemoration Project Committee Pro­ duction, with the assistance fr om the Korean Film Council, 2008. 90 minutes. "A nd then in a fl ash he just ... burned." In the documentary The Past Is a Strange Country (Kwago nun nasson nar­ ada), an interviewee has been calmly recounting the circumstances leading up to his college fr iend Lee Jae-ho's (Yi Chaeho's) horrid self-i mmolation-an event he witnessed more than twenty years ago. Upon uttering the above words, how­ ever, he bursts into tears in a manner that shocks both in its suddenness and plaintiveness. This and many other powerful, challenging scenes make the film (whose title references David Lowenthal's study on the myriad modes and sites of historical remembrance) one of the best documentaries on Korea's turbulent post-colonial history. That is no small feat considering that since the late 19 80s South Korea has produced an impressive body of politically charged documen­ taries that explore the country's modem experience, especially fr om the per­ spectives of the oppressed or marginalized. Filmmakers http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Korean Studies Duke University Press

The Past Is a Strange Country (Kwagŏ nǔn nassŏn narada)

Journal of Korean Studies , Volume 16 (1) – Mar 11, 2011

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Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York
ISSN
0731-1613
eISSN
2158-1665
DOI
10.1353/jks.2011.0003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Film Review The Past Is a Strange Country (Kwago niin nasson narada) writ­ ten and directed by Kim Eung-soo (Kim Ongsu). South Korea. A Kim Se- jin/Yi Chae-ho Commemoration Project Committee Pro­ duction, with the assistance fr om the Korean Film Council, 2008. 90 minutes. "A nd then in a fl ash he just ... burned." In the documentary The Past Is a Strange Country (Kwago nun nasson nar­ ada), an interviewee has been calmly recounting the circumstances leading up to his college fr iend Lee Jae-ho's (Yi Chaeho's) horrid self-i mmolation-an event he witnessed more than twenty years ago. Upon uttering the above words, how­ ever, he bursts into tears in a manner that shocks both in its suddenness and plaintiveness. This and many other powerful, challenging scenes make the film (whose title references David Lowenthal's study on the myriad modes and sites of historical remembrance) one of the best documentaries on Korea's turbulent post-colonial history. That is no small feat considering that since the late 19 80s South Korea has produced an impressive body of politically charged documen­ taries that explore the country's modem experience, especially fr om the per­ spectives of the oppressed or marginalized. Filmmakers

Journal

Journal of Korean StudiesDuke University Press

Published: Mar 11, 2011

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