Hyangjin Lee
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Nationhood and the cinematicrepresentation of history
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This chapter examines the notion of nationhood held by contemporary Koreans from two interrelated perspectives, political and cultural. It examines the films in relation to the conflicting ideological orientations of North and South Korea. In the North Korean films, anti-imperialism constitutes the core of their definition of nationhood. The chapter also examines the common cultural elements between North and South Korean films. Whereas anti-imperialism, class-consciousness and Kim II Sung's leadership are the controlling themes in the North Korean films, anti-communism serves as a basis for exploring nationhood in the South Korean films. The representation of nationhood in South and North Korean films can be seen as an extension or variation of familyhood. Post-war Korean cinema is a cultural text that vividly exposes the coexistence of political discontinuity and cultural continuity in contemporary Koreans' perception of their nationhood.

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Contemporary Korean cinema

Identity, culture and politics

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