Now in its 11th year, Korean Film Nights open for 2019 with ‘Home Truths’

Buzz, Film

Now in its 11th year, Korean Film Nights open for 2019 with ‘Home Truths’ – a season exploring how Korean domestic spaces on screen reflect cultural and societal change.

Our six-part programme traces the often-fraught relationship that exists between interior and exterior life across 50 years of Korean history. This chosen focus, though conceptually abstract, is a motif visible throughout Korean cinema that not only offers insight into a number of Korean social conventions, but has also provided many filmmakers with creative opportunities to undermine them.

Each of these six titles welcome us across the threshold into private spaces. Behind these closed doors, we witness how characters interact outside of the gaze and earshot of public scrutiny, and once sustaining customary social pretenses is no longer such a necessity. This exclusive access invites audiences to reconsider a number of historic Korean traditions on a much more human level: how do gender roles function in domestic space? In what ways do family hierarchies reveal themselves in the home? What are some of the potential sources of social stigma? Interior spaces can provide us with a platform to explore these kinds of questions critically.

In an effort to chronicle a long history of Korean domestic life, the six films present narratives ranging from classics of the 60s and 70s to contemporary indie works. These narratives offer a wide range of perspectives on domestic living, representative of shifting focuses within the country over time. This variety of ideas therefore problematises the notion of there being any one definition.

‘Home Truths’ is a season that seeks to reveal social customs via Korean living spaces, whilst simultaneously challenging familiar concepts of domesticity through the lenses of some of cinema’s more unconventional iterations. These contesting visions of interior and exterior life come together in thoughtful negotiations of the personal and the political.

Image: Woman of Fire (1971, Kim Ki-young)

 

All screenings take place at the Korean Cultural Centre UK and are free to attend. More info here.

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