Straits of Joseon
Director: Park Gi-chae
Cast: Mun Ye-bong, Kin Sin-Jae, Nam Seung-Min
Film genre: Drama
The film follows the lives of a young couple who are divided by both war and family. Seiki and Kinshuko may be in love but Seiki’s upper class family have rejected his lower-class wife and refuse acknowledge the marriage. When Seiki’s elder brother dies at war he feels honour bound to volunteer for the army in his stead. Left pregnant and alone, Kinshuko decides to also work for the war effort. Between 1940 and 1945, Korean language was banned from the screen so all the cast speak in Japanese, a clear indication of the harsh colonial war-time rule that Korea was experiencing. Despite this complex background, Straits of Chosun captivates via a narrative of love, sacrifice and loyalty and a powerful use of editing and sound.