Yeonghwa is the Korean word for film, and since South Korean cinema now features prominently in every major international film festival, it is a good word for cineastes to know. Korean film tends to blend technical excellence with idiosyncratic individual expression and an entrepreneurial spirit—filmmakers often write and direct their work, and both actors and filmmakers benefit from the country’s homegrown “star system”—while embracing a wide variety of styles and subjects. These factors have helped to endear Korean cinema to filmgoers the world over. Korean cinema is generally made for a national audience, so its vision is rarely diminished by compromises in the name of global appeal. Instead, these films provide a revealing window into a rich culture that for many Americans appears at once alien and oddly familiar.
Presented in collaboration with The Korea Society. Co-organized by Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator, The Museum of Modern Art, and Yuni Yoonjung Cho, Assistant Director, Film, The Korea Society, with the help of the Korean Film Council.