Japanese artist reflects on Korea-Japan relations in two films

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A series of 16 film screenings by one of Japan’s most controversial and skilled filmmakers will include two which explore the relationship of Korea and Japan in the post-war era.

The retrospective collection of films by Nagisa Oshima will be held at the Walker Art Center from November 5 through 23. The films that specifically address Korea-Japan relations are: Death by Hanging (Koshikei), to be shown Sunday, November 16 at 2 p.m.; and Diary of a Yunbogi Boy (Yunboggi no nikki), to be shown Thursday November 20, at 7:30. The Diary of a Yunbogi Boy is a free screening and is shown along with A Town of Love and Hope (Ai to kibo no machi).

The screening of Death by Hanging (1968) will be accompanied by an introduction and post-screening discussion led by Christopher Scott, Assistant Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures, Macalester College, St. Paul. The film is based on a real incident of a Korean youth found guilty of raping a Japanese schoolgirl, who faces the death sentence. The story exposes prejudice against Koreans within the criminal justice system.

Diary of a Yunbogi Boy, describing the struggles of the Korean ethnic minority in Japan, was released in 1965. There will be an introduction and post-screening discussion of that film led by Noboru Tomonari, associate professor of Japanese, Department of Asian Languages and Literature at Carleton College, Northfield.

Admission this series of Walker films is $8 ($6 Walker members and University of Minnesota students) All are subtitled in English, and were first released starting in the late ‘50s through the late ‘70s. The Walker Art Center is located at 1750 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis. For more information and the full schedule of Oshima films, call 612/375-7600 or visit the website at: www.walkerart.org

Reprinted with permission from Korean Quarterly Fall 2008 edition. Korean Quarterly is an volunteer non-profit newspaper of the Korean American community of the Twin Cities and Upper Midwest. Subscription and advertising information is available on the KQ website at: www.koreanquarterly.org. Contributions are tax-deductible. Write to us at: koreanquarterly@gmail.com