France/Korea, 2005 (Film on Film)
MIFF has enthusiastically flown the flag for South Korean cinema, championing such diverse and mind-altering work as MIFF guests Kim Ki-duk (retrospective in 2002), Park Chan-wook (Old Boy 2004), Im Sang-soo (President’s Last Bang 2005) and Kim Jee-woon (A Bittersweet Life 2006).
South Korean cinema is in the throes of a creative explosion where mavericks are encouraged and masters are venerated. But from where has this phenomenon emerged? What is the culture that has yielded this range of filmmakers?
With The Nine Lives of Korean Cinema, French critic, writer and documentarian Hubert Niogret provides a broad overview but, nevertheless, an excellent entry point into this unique type of national cinema that still remains a mystery for many people.
The product of a troubled social and political history, Korean cinema sports an identity that is unique in much modern film. Niogret’s documentary tells of the country’s cinematic history – the ups along with the downs – and gives further voice to the artists striving to express their concerns, fears and aspirations.