Vintage Korean Movie ‘Nakdong River’ — In the past Feared Misplaced — Is Rediscovered and Restored – The Hollywood Reporter


Nakdong River, by means of the director Jun Chang-geun, was once considered one of simply 12 Korean movies produced all through the Korean Struggle — and for years it was once concept to had been misplaced. So when team of workers on the Korean Movie Archive not too long ago came about upon a print of the movie —  miscategorized and stored within the mistaken phase of a storeroom for years — the researchers have been filled with surprise and aid. 

After an exhaustive virtual recovery procedure by means of the Korean Movie Archive, Nakdong River was once screened for the general public for the primary time in seven a long time final Thursday at Busan World Movie Pageant

A semi-documentary, Nakdong River was once at the start produced as a propaganda movie and funded by means of the South Korean executive to coach other people in regards to the brutalities of the conflict and the efforts to revive the war-torn nation within the aftermath. It depicts a fictional personality, Il-ryung, who returns along with his female friend to his place of birth close to Nakdong River after completing school and starts paintings to revive his village. The 44-minute movie is a mixture of drama and documentary. It contains photos of exact struggle scenes from the Korean Struggle and uncommon pictures of the lives of refugees close to Nakdong River, the country’s longest river passing thru main towns. A departure from maximum present Korean movies from the generation, which can be set in Seoul, it additionally depicts early Busan, a provisional capital all through the Korean Struggle after Seoul was once occupied by means of the communists.

“It’s a fiction however the movie enhanced the sense of fact by means of putting precise photos from the conflict,” says Jeong Jong-hwa, a senior researcher on the Korean Movie Archive. “It additionally helped to tell refugees who have been evacuated from their properties in regards to the state of the conflict.” 

Whilst it’s a propaganda movie, Hong-jun Kim, director of Korean Movie Archive, explains that the movie incorporates many experimental parts for the time, such its poetic opening appearing a girl dancing alongside the river. 

“The context of a propaganda movie would had been inevitable, for the reason that it was once wartime and there was once censorship by means of the federal government,” Kim says. 

The movie’s ranking, by means of Yun Isang, an internationally-known composer, could also be traditionally important, because the sounds used within the movie changed into the root of Yun’s later orchestral piece Poem on Nakdong River, which was once finished in 1956 whilst he was once learning track in Paris.  It is usually the one track by means of Yun identified for use in a movie.  

Yun was once exiled by means of the Korean executive all through the Chilly Struggle and settled in Germany, the place he composed right through his later years.  

Till not too long ago, the track in Nakdong River was once concept to had been composed by means of every other Korean musician named Dong-jin Kim. 

“Once I first were given the decision from Korean Movie Archive in June, I defined to them that they’re fallacious and the track within the movie is if truth be told composed by means of Kim,” mentioned Kim Received-cheol, a classical track critic.  “But if I if truth be told watched the film, it was once Yun’s piece. That is going to be crucial record within the historical past of classical Korean track, since details about Yun’s paintings ahead of he went to Japan to review track was once very fragmented.”  

The researchers on the Korean Movie Archive have been additionally exalted to be told that there was once no injury or important loss to the sound and symbol of the movie print they rediscovered. 

“That doesn’t imply the movie’s situation is technically best, nevertheless it has no lacking portions, which is a rarity for movies shot all through that generation,” Kim says. “We consider this will have been an unique movie print that have been stored by means of a central authority group and despatched to the Korean Movie Archive when it opened in 1974.” 

Technically, the movie was once additionally represents the primary case ever within the historical past of the Korean Movie Archive of a recovery of a movie shot in 16 millimeter. All earlier restorations have been of 35 millimeter movies.

Jun, Nakdong River’s director, began out his occupation as an actor in early Korean movies corresponding to Shanghai 55th Road.  Underneath colonial rule, he shot pro-Eastern movies however after the rustic was once liberated from Japan’s annexation in 1945, he produced or gave the impression in movies that praised the lives of Korean independence activists. 

“Jun is crucial determine within the historical past of Korean cinema,” Kim says. “The movie’s recovery continues to be in part incomplete, however we concept it was once significant to introduce the movie to audiences in Busan.” 



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