Publication Details

Yecies, B, Post-burden or new burden Korean cinema?: outside looking in at the latest Golden Age, 1996-?, in Shin, K and Chang, H (eds), Enlightening Korea: Converging or Diverging? Proceedings of the 5th Biannual KSAA Conference, Perth, WA: Korean Studies Association of Australasia, 2007, 75-80.


This work-in-progress examines the paradoxical nature of what I call Koreas post-burden cinema a present-day film industry that has survived Japanese colonialism, American occupation, civil war, prolonged dictatorship, rapid industrialization, economic crisis and severe censorship. For nearly a century filmmakers have learned and practised their trade under these challenging social, political, cultural, economic and industrial constraints, and outlived them. This paper uses a case study of The President's Last Bang to illustrate the divergent freedoms that have enabled representative commercial, art-house, independent and animation filmmakers to transcend national and cultural borders by telling previouslyforbidden stories and breathing a universal but distinctive Korean-ness into their narratives and characters. Yet, although it backfired, the startling censorship in 2005 of Im Sang-soos The President's Last Bang points to a new set of burdens confronting the national film industrys future.