Crossing The Border To The Other Side By Kim Suk Essay

1100 Words 4 Pages
The field covering politics implies that ultimately, social and economic factors are largely dependent on the changing political atmosphere. To elaborate, South Korea’s transition to a liberal democracy and the liberalization of its cinema eventually led to a changing view of its Northern counterparts, since the people became more open to trying to approach North Korea. One facet of the political history focus is arguing that what drives the change in South Korean perceptions is that they are trying to bury the Cold War rhetoric that drove them to cut off ties with North Korea. Thus, they are now trying to reach out to the North. However, sources that focus on the social side of the conflict argue that the defining facet of the South Korea’s …show more content…
The role of North Korea in both of these arguments is essentially the same, however. North Koreans in South Korean film serve as an antithesis to reinforce the South Korean identity. This is further exemplified by the observation among scholars that North Koreans in film serve as contrasts to South Koreans. It argues that the South Korean identity is largely reinforced by the success of its film industry, which features North Korea as a popular topic in film. However, there is still an innate desire to reunify and become a singular Korea due to the fact that ultimately, they share a common history (up until the Korean War), language, and culture. Jake Bevan’s 2010 article “Welcome to Panmunjeom: Encounters with the North in Contemporary South Korean Cinema,” argues that despite a long-standing singular identity prior to the division of the Korean peninsula, “the survival of two independent Korean states thus came to rely upon eliding similarities and manufacturing differences through the depiction of the monstrous other.” Thus, he concludes that South Korean cinema after the Korean War was attempting to establish itself a separate entity from North Korea, however, it is moving away from that goal in the present in that it is …show more content…
Scholars such as Suk Young Kim in “Crossing the Border ton the ‘Other’ Side,” (2007) argue that sympathetic portrayals of North Koreans are a result of the people’s desire to help the North Korean people escape their oppressive regime, hinting at human rights activists in South Korea influencing sympathetic portrayals in film. This is more reflective in the scholarship of the 2010’s due to viral internet media attention garnered toward North Korean defectors who become activists and writers in hopes of raising awareness to the situation in North Korea, who have reached high levels of popularity within South Korea. However, Kim and Kyung Hyun Kim in the chapter “Mea Culpa” in the book Virtual Hallyu (2011) both agree that North Korean characters, whether painted in a positive or negative light, are typically one-dimensional, either villain or victim, with little dynamic throughout the films, often allowing the South Korean characters to show more complexity in

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