SOAS University of London

Centre of Korean Studies

Korean Cinema Echoes: The Journals of Musan

Dr. Mark Morris

Date: 28 April 2017Time: 5:15 PM

Finishes: 28 April 2017Time: 8:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: 102

Type of Event: Film

Film Information

Title: The Journals of Musan 무산일기
Production Details: South Korea, 2011
Director: Jung-bum Park
Cast: Jung-bum Park, Younguk Jin, Eujin Kang, Youngdeok Park
Run time: 127 Mins 
Certificate: 15 
Subtitles: English


The Journals of Musan stars (and is written/directed by) Park Jung-bum as Seung-chul, a North Korean refugee who has defected to South Korea. He attempts to adjust to Seoul with a shy and submissive attitude. When Seung-chul is harassed by the authorities, he takes a new job at a karaoke bar to gain stability, an appropriate income, and less prejudice for being a defector. Seung-chul attends Mass every week in the hope that his spirituality will help him embrace his new surroundings.

The Journals of Musan is a precise character study in its detailed portrayal of alienation. But Park Jung-bum’s film also works as a broader exploration of the refugee experience; it illustrates the wide array of emotional adversity immigrants withstand: isolation, shame, hope, faith and even some humour. These are all on the spectrum of feelings that Seung-chul experiences and, we as an audience, experience with him.

Organiser: Centre of Korean Studies/Korean Cultural Centre

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