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Beyond the Reality of Korean Division by HWANG Hee-yun /  Dec 26, 2017
Movies about Inter-Korean Relations



Division is one of the most common themes found in cinema and the topic is especially sensitive for Koreans. Movies regarding the division of South Korea and North Korea often involve high stakes and uneasy situations, making the subject matter desirable for filmmakers who long for material with tense content. Korean filmmakers have been making movies about the North-South division for a long time with many of them being successful.

From Swiri (1999) to Joint Security Area (2000), TaeGukGi: Brotherhood Of War (2004) and Silmido (2003), many of Korea’s record-breaking movies have involved the depiction of North-South issues. Recently, films about the division have been diversifying, with movies expanding in subject matter to include subtle political tensions between the two Koreas rather than just focusing on the war. Since 2010, hybrid thriller Confidential Assignment is the highest-grossing movie among those about inter-Korean conflict. It broke the record of The Berlin File (7,166,199 viewers) by attracting 7,817,459 moviegoers. Other films such as Northern Limit Line, which is based on the Battle of Yeonpyeong, and North Korean spy comedy-drama Secretly Greatly did well, drawing over 6 million moviegoers. The recently released North Korea-themed action-thriller Steel Rain is expected to continue this positive trend of North-South theme conflict films performing well with audiences. This week, all eyes will be on the box office results of Steel Rain as is goes head-to-head with fantasy drama Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds.
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