Korean culture on screen at USFK festivalSix Korean films with English subtitles will be screened at the USFK Korean Film Festival, starting today at three U.S. base locations: the Multipurpose Training Facility at Yongsan Garrison, Osan Air Force Base Movie Theater and Camp Humphreys Movie Theater.
The opening ceremony takes place at 5:20 p.m. at Yongsan, followed by a screening of “Taegukgi” (2004), directed by Kang Je-gyu. “Taegukgi” was chosen because organizers wanted to show the effect of the Korean War on Koreans and its meaning to them. (Screenings are 5:30 p.m. Friday at Yongsan, and 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Camp Humphreys.)
“Save the Green Planet” (“Jigureul Jikyeora,” 2002), was directed by Jeong Jun-hwan, named Best Director of a Foreign Film at the 25th Moscow International Film Festival. It’s a heartwrenching and bizarre tale of a young man who believes aliens are trying to take over the planet. (Screenings: Friday, 3 p.m. at Yongsan and Saturday, 1 p.m. at Osan.)
“My Mother, the Mermaid” (“Ineo Gongju,” 2004), by Park Heung-sik, shows a daughter’s strained relationship with her mother. When her father disappears, she goes to Jeju island to find him and appears to travel back in time to watch her parents meet. (Screenings: Friday, 1:30 p.m. at Camp Humphreys and Saturday, 1 p.m. at Osan.)
“When Spring Comes” (“Ggotpineun Bomiomyeon,” 2004), directed by Ryu Jang-ha, stars Choe Min-sik at what Hank Kim, president of Seoul Selection, calls “the height of his acting career.” He plays a trumpeter with a failed career and love life who is given the mission of taking a ragtag middle school band and inspiring the kids to become champions. (Screenings: Friday, 1:30 p.m. at Osan and Saturday, 3 p.m. at Yongsan.)
“To Catch a Virgin Ghost” (“Sisili Ikiro,” 2004), directed by Sin Jeong-won, was put in for comic relief. The title in Korean is a play on Sicily, the reputed birthplace of the Italian mafia, and Sisilli, which in Chinese characters means a village where time stops. (Screenings: Friday, 11 a.m. at Osan and Saturday, 1 p.m. at Yongsan.)
“The President’s Barber” (“Hyojadong Ibalsa,” 2004), the feature-length directorial debut of Im Chan-sang, depicts one of the most turbulent times in modern Korea, the 1960s and ’70s, through the eyes of a barber and his son. (Screenings: Friday, 6 p.m. at Camp Humphreys and Saturday, 3:30 p.m. at Osan.)
The festival came to fruition two years ago, when the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade and Seoul Selection created a small movie festival for U.S. soldiers. “The idea was to show Korean culture to others,” said Hank Kim.
by Joe Yonghee
The festival is free to U.S. soldiers, U.S. Embassy staff and their families, while others must pay $3.50. For more information, call (02) 734-9567.