Welcome to Dongmakgol 웰컴투 동막골
2005. Directed by Park Kwang-hyun. 133 minutes.
Soldiers from North and South Korea converge on the small village of Dongmakgol in 1950, finding that the villagers have no knowledge of the ongoing Korean War. Overcoming their mutual distrust, the two sides work together to help the villagers through the winter and save them from destruction during the war. Welcome to Dongmakgol dominated Korean cinema in 2005, winning Best Film, Best Director, and Best Screenplay at the Korean Film Awards.
2003. Directed by Kim Dong-won. 148 minutes.
In this documentary, the first Korean film to win an award at the Sundance Film Festival, director Kim Dong-won follows a group of political prisoners in South Korea who swear allegiance to the North. Following a thirty-year prison sentence, many of them move to Kim's neighborhood, where Kim establishes a close friendship with one. These former long-term prisoners maintain their loyalty to the North, however, and Kim documents their quest for repatriation. In 2004, Korean film critics picked Repatriation as the number one Korean film of the preceding decade.
Dear Pyongyang 디어 평양
2005. Directed by Yang Yong-hi. 107 minutes.
This documentary follows the family of Yang Yong-hi, whose father leads a pro-North movement in Japan. Yang remains with her father after he sends his sons to the North as part of a repatriation program. Through conversations with her father and visits to Pyongyang, she documents how economic setbacks leave the sons increasingly reliant on aid from relatives, and discusses other consequences of separating the family. Dear Pyongyang was a winner of Sundance's Special Jury Prize and won a Nedpac Award from at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2006.
Over the Border 국경의 남쪽
2006. Directed by Ahn Pan-suk. 109 minutes.
Sun-ho is soon to be married and holds a privileged slot as a horn player in the North Korean state propaganda troupe, but his life comes unraveled when his family receives letters from Sun-ho's grandfather in Seoul. This correspondence endangers their lives, forcing them to leave their comfortable positions and escape to the unfamiliar South. Over the Border features award-winning Korean Wave star Cha Seung-won as Sun-ho.
The Journals of Musan 무산일기
2011. Directed by Park Jung-bum. 127 minutes.
North Korean defector Seung-chul struggles with a low-paying job and few friends in the South. His life changes suddenly when his roommate, a broker sending money to the families of other defectors, asks for his help. The broker has been conned by his uncle, who had been helping funnel defectors' money into the North, and now he needs Seung-chul's help to recover the lost funds. Winner of multiple awards at film festivals across Asia, Park's direction was also honored at the Rotterdam Film Festival in 2011.