London Korean FIlm Festival 2016 - The Lives of Korean Women

"In 1955, director Park Nam-ok became the first South Korean woman to make a feature film. Yet The Widow, which would prove to be her only film, did not so much blow open the door for other women directors as leave it slightly ajar. In her rough, spirited 2002 documentary, Keeping The Vision Alive, director Yim Soon-rye met a group of female filmmakers who, along with various other women’s cultural movements, broke out in the country in the mid ’90s and managed, against all the odds, to change this. The film details the many obstacles put up by the South Korean film industry’s obstinate, oppressive male gatekeepers, determined to maintain the status quo while celebrating the ways in which they themselves had managed to subvert it. Together these two films, made almost 50 years apart, made for a fitting introduction to the 2016 edition of the London Korean Film Festival (LKFF), which took as its focus this year a national survey of female filmmaking over the last 15 years."

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