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North Korean Film on Tokto to Screen

2005/04/12 | 695 views | Permalink | Source

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By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter

A local film festival will screen three North Korean films as part of its event, including a 2002 movie about an ancient fight to protect Tokto (Dokdo) Islets from Japanese invaders.

The organizing committee of the Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) announced Tuesday that three North Korean films have been added to the Special Screening section. They are "The Blood Stained Route Map" (2002), "Welcome to Pyongyang Animal Park" (2001) and "Spirit of Korean Celadon" (2002).

A scene from the North Korean film "The Blood Stained Route Map"

"It is still rare and difficult to see North Korean films here," said Hwang Kyun-min, coordinator of the section. "And we think that the screening of `The Blood Stained Route Map' is timely since the issue of Tokto is very controversial now."

"The Blood Stained Route Map," directed by Phyo Kwang, is about a family from the Koryo period (918-1392), who fight together to protect the Tokto islets against the invasion of Japan. The film will make its premiere in South Korea at the festival.

"Welcome to Pyongyang Animal Park" by Yoon Chan sheds light on the daily life of a North Korean family. The human drama, which was originally made as a two-episode television series, describes how main character Eun-a achieves her goals despite the interference of other family members.

Another of Phyo's film, "Spirit of Korean Celadon" tells the story of a craftsman devoted to making traditional ceramics. Set in the Koryo Kingdom, the movie shows the beauty of the ancient Kingdom's celadon and the effort of a craftsman to enrich it.

This will be the second time a North Korean film has been screened at the festival, after the 2003 screening of "Souls Protest," a story about Koreans forced to work in Japan during the colonial period.

The largest number of North Korean movies screened locally was at the Pusan International Film Festival in 2003, when seven movies were shown.

In its sixth year, the festival will take place on April 28-May 6 at Chonju, North Cholla Province. In addition to the North Korean films, the event will screen 176 feature, short and documentary films from 31 different countries.

North Korean films have been made available in the South since the mid-90s. In 2000, the monster film "Pulgasari" became the first North Korean work to be given a general release here.

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