Much like the Silk Road that twists its ancient path through vast continents and difficult terrains, South Korea’s cinematic trade has battled against harsh adversities since the division of Korea. Born amidst an ongoing political antithesis between the Communist North state and the Capitalist South and in the aftermath of the both the Second World War and Cold War, the nation’s film industry has long sought after its own distinct identity. From the late 1940s onward, both North and South Korea decided to embrace Western technological advances including the ‘moving picture’, with both states producing differing filmic content.
While the North concentrated on exploring domestic issues through a more traditional filmmaking approach (contained via stringent censorship and regulation), the South moved towards a blend of Western ideology with South Korean culture/subject matter, producing modern interpretations of genres such as romance and horror. Segregated from outside influences and locked in an internal enforcement of Communist regulation, North Korea has been seemingly unable (or unwilling) to emulate the kind of filmic experimentation and global success of the Capitalist South.
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