This Saturday, May 3, at 3pm Barry Welsh's Seoul Film Society and Royal Asiatic Society's Cinema Club will team up to show, with English subtitles, Im Kwon-taek's 1980 film "Mismatched Nose," which tells, mainly through flashbacks, the story of a police officer who has pursued a 빨치산, or North Korean guerrilla, for decades after losing him and ruining his career thirty years earlier. More information about the film can be found here. The film will be preceded by a brief presentation by myself about director Im's career and background as the son of a 빨치산 (see here), the history of the partisans around the time of the Korean War, and Korean films which have dealt with the subject.
Much of the story of the 빨치산, who could be either North or South Korean and were essentially anti-(South Korea) government guerrillas, revolves around the 1948 '4.3' Jeju uprising and its suppression by the US military government and the Republic of Korea. The uprising and its suppression left perhaps 30,000 dead and over half the villages on Jeju burned as the population was forcibly removed to coastal areas (see here for photos). The uprising was a forbidden subject even into the 1990s, with the 1978 publication of Hyun Ki-young's story Suni Samchon resulting in his arrest and torture, and the 1997 documentary 'Red Hunt' being banned from TV and film festivals. The uprising also triggered the Yeosu-Suncheon Rebellion, when South Korean Constabulary (fore-runners of the ROK army) being sent from Yeosu to Jeju to suppress the uprising in Jeju rebelled and took over several towns in the area before being defeated by South Korean troops (see here for Life Magazine photos). Hundreds of soldiers fled into the mountains, especially Jirisan, where they augmented the numbers of the existing bands of guerrillas and were subjected to punitive expeditions by the South Korean army. They would continue to be active into the mid 1950s after the war until eventually being captured, killed, or forced to surrender by the South Korean military. I'll bring up much of this in my introduction, and the film will be followed by a discussion for those who wish to take part.
If you're around this weekend, feel free to join us.
Date: Saturday, May 3rd.
Place: Haechi Hall in Seoul Global Culture and Tourism Center
(5th Floor M Plaza in Myeong-dong) (See here for more information on Facebook and see here for directions.)
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