Fall Film Series Finale: The Journals of Musan

image: Journals of Musan stillThe Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies fall 2013 film series wraps up Tues­day, Novem­ber 19, with the screen­ing of The Jour­nals of Musan (무산 일기), a 2011 release writ­ten and direct­ed by Park Jung-bum, who also appears as the lead char­ac­ter in the cast. The film is based on the expe­ri­ences of a North Kore­an refugee Park met while attend­ing Yon­sei uni­ver­si­ty. It has been com­mend­ed for bring­ing atten­tion to the plight of defec­tors and the dis­crim­i­na­tion they often face in South Korea.

The plot of the film involves a North Kore­an defec­tor named Jeon Seung-chul, who strug­gles with life in the South. Unable to find a job bet­ter than dis­trib­ut­ing fliers, he also strug­gles to bond with those around him, even at the church he attends. His life changes when his room­mate, a bro­ker send­ing mon­ey to the fam­i­lies of oth­er defec­tors, asks for his help. The bro­ker has been conned by his uncle, who had been help­ing to fun­nel defec­tors’ mon­ey into the North through Chi­na, and now he needs Seung-chul’s help to recov­er the lost funds. 

The Jour­nals of Musan won the Tiger Award at the 40th Inter­na­tion­al Film Fes­ti­val Rot­ter­dam, the Jury Prize at the 13th Deauville Asian Film Fes­ti­val, the New Cur­rents award at the Pusan Inter­na­tion­al Film Fes­ti­val, the grand prize at Off Plus Cam­era Fes­ti­val in Krakow, Poland, and the Gold­en Star at the Fes­ti­val Inter­na­tion­al du Film de Marrakech.

Film screen­ings take place in the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies audi­to­ri­um at 1881 East-West Road on the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai’i Mānoa cam­pus and begin at 6:30 p.m. Kore­an films are shown with Eng­lish sub­ti­tles. For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, con­tact the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies at (808) 956‑7041 or Pro­fes­sor Young-a Park (yapark@hawaii.edu) at (808) 956‑6387.

For this final screen­ing of the series, join us for light refresh­ments and infor­mal con­ver­sa­tion before the film, begin­ning at 5:30 p.m.

A short trail­er for the film is avail­able here: