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Recalibrating Modernity: East Asian Socially Engaged Documentary and the Evocation of Another World

  • Dan Edwards
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter explores, expands, and updates Chris Berry’s notion of a “socially engaged mode of independent documentary” in East Asia. Focusing on documentaries made in Japan, South Korea, and China, it argues that socially engaged practices represent a set of related, though distinct, celebrations of localized vernacular cultures in the face of an ever-intensifying process of globalization. Behind this celebration lies the possibility of a fundamentally recalibrated relationship to modernity, built around local needs, expressions, and community participation, rather than the needs of transnational capital. These claims are explored through the films of Ogawa Shinsuke, Kim Dong-won, and Ou Ning—filmmakers whose work has engaged very directly with struggles related to the expropriation of land and the breakup of existing communities in their respective countries.

Keywords

Ou Ning Kim Dong-won Ogawa Shinsuke Chinese documentary South Korean documentary Japanese documentary Socially engaged documentary 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The writing of this chapter was made possible by a Postdoctoral Fellowship provided by the Research Unit in Public Cultures at the University of Melbourne, Australia. I would particularly like to thank the two heads of the unit during my fellowship—Professor Nikos Papastergiadis and Associate Professor Audrey Yue—for their support. I would also like to thank my anonymous reviewers for their suggestions, which resulted in a much improved chapter.

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Filmography

  1. Another World We Are Making: Haendang-dong People 2 (Ttohanaui sesang: Haengdangdong saramdul 2). Directed by Kim Dong-won. 1999.Google Scholar
  2. Bumming in Beijing: The Last Dreamers (流浪北京: 最后的梦想者). Directed by Wu Wenguang. 1990.Google Scholar
  3. Habitual Sadness (Najeun Moksori 2). Directed by Byun Young-joo. 1997.Google Scholar
  4. Haengdang-dong People (Haengdangdong saramdul). Directed by Kim Dong-won. 1994.Google Scholar
  5. Meishi Street (煤市街). Directed by Ou Ning. 2006.Google Scholar
  6. My Own Breathing (Sumgyeol: Najeun moksori 3). Directed by Byun Young-joo. 1999.Google Scholar
  7. The Battle Front for the Liberation of Japan: Summer in Sanziruka (Nihon kaiho sensen: Sanrizuka no natsu). Directed by Ogawa Shinsuke. 1968.Google Scholar
  8. The Magino Village Story: Raising Silkworms (Magino Monogatari—Yosan-hen: Eiga no tame no eiga). Directed by Ogawa Shinsuke. 1977.Google Scholar
  9. The Magino Village Story: Pass (Magino Monogatari sono 2 Toge: Zao to Makabe Jin). Directed by Ogawa Shinsuke. 1977.Google Scholar
  10. The Murmuring (Najeun moksori). Directed by Byun Young-joo. 1995.Google Scholar
  11. The Sundial Carved with a Thousand Years of Notches: The Magino Village Story (Sennen kizami no hidokei: Magino-mura monogatari). Directed by Ogawa Shinsuke. 1986.Google Scholar
  12. Sanggye-dong Olympics (Sanggye-dong Ollimpik). Directed by Kim Dong-won. 1988.Google Scholar
  13. Sanrizuka: Peasants of the Second Fortress (Sanrizuka: Daini toride no hitobito). Directed by Ogawa Shinsuke. 1971.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dan Edwards
    • 1
  1. 1.Oak ParkAustralia

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