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Militarism, Enlightenment, and Colonial Korean Cinema

Chapter

Abstract

This chapter is a study of the late colonial era films released from 1940 to 1945, including Homeless Angels, Love and Vow, Volunteer, Portrait of Youth, and Suicide Squad at the Watch Tower. They are enlightenment films, which assume the position of the audience to be that of pupils and thus aim to educate and transform them. The colonial audience was always already targeted as collective recipients of knowledge and education from the beginnings of Korean cinema. Taking this as the point of departure, my reading of the abovementioned films focuses on the intertwined issues of colonial enlightenment and propaganda, as well as of ethnography, censorship, and narrative strategies of the films. Lastly, the chapter will conclude with a consideration of the postcolonial desire for a national cinematic tradition, and the implied ethics of film-viewing in postcolonial worlds.

Keywords

Militarism Propaganda Enlightenment Colonial audience Censorship 

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Filmography

  1. Ai to Chikai [K: Saranggwa maengsŏ; Love and Vow]. 1945. Dir. Ch’oe Ingyu and Imai Tadashi, VOD. Seoul: Korean Film Archive.Google Scholar
  2. Bōrō no kesshitai [Suicide Squad at the Watchtower]. 1943. Dir. Imai Tadashi, DVD. Tokyo: DeAgostini Japan (Toho Co. Ltd.).Google Scholar
  3. Chayu manse [Hurrah! For Freedom]. 1946. Dir. Ch’oe Ingyu, DVD. Seoul: Korean Film Archive.Google Scholar
  4. Chipŏpnŭn ch’ŏnsa [Homeless Angels]. 1941. Dir. Ch’oe Ingyu, DVD. Seoul: Korean Film Archive.Google Scholar
  5. Chiwŏnbyŏng [Volunteer]. 1941. Dir. An Sŏkyŏng, DVD. Seoul: Korean Film Archive.Google Scholar
  6. Kunyongyŏlch’a [Military Train]. 1938. Dir. Sŏ Kwangje, DVD. Seoul: Korean Film Archive.Google Scholar
  7. Mimong [A Beautiful Dream, a.k.a. A Lullaby of Death]. 1936. Dir. Yang Chunam, DVD. Seoul: Korean Film Archive.Google Scholar
  8. Obalt’an [Aimless Bullet]. 1961. Dir. Yu Hyŏnmok, DVD. Seoul: Korean Film Archive.Google Scholar
  1. Wakaki sugata [K: Chŏlmŭn mosŭp; Portrait of Youth]. 1943. Dir. Shiro Toyota. VOD. Seoul: Korean Film Archive.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

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