Smartest Options for Korean Films

A new stage in national cinema began in 1935 with the release of the first sound film “Tales of Chun-hyan.” Korean viewers, tired of the ubiquitous censorship and the Japanese, were very happy when they heard their native language at the cinemas. But happiness was short-lived – Japan continued to reinforce censorship over and over again. It got to the point that only actors with Japanese surnames were allowed to shoot in films, and only those who could speak Japanese it was strictly forbidden to use Korean in films. Make a visit to and get the best of these films.

Shot from the film “Tales of Chhunhyang” (1935)

In the early forties, all of Korea’s film studios were merged into one controlled by the Japanese government. After that, the share of national cinema at the box office was reduced, instead of showing German, Italian and Japanese films. And what was produced in Korea itself was an instrument of Japanese propaganda. The only bold exception was the 1941 film “You and Me.” Its director He Yong showed his view on the relationship between Korea and Japan.

Lifting period

The changes began after the Second World War, which Japan lost. After the defeat, the country signed an act of surrender, one of the conditions of which was the dissolution of the Korean colony. This liberation of Korea was the occasion for the first round of film development.

For a long time, however, Koreans failed to experiment with new forms and themes, because in 1950 a civil war broke out in the country. It lasted three years, and during this time almost all of the accumulated film resources were destroyed. Well, the most serious result of the war was the division of the peninsula into two parts: North and South Korea. Further, of course, we will focus on the latter.

Shot from the film “The Handmaid” (1960)

After the war ended, South Korean President Lee Seung Man decided to help the development of the film industry by freeing it from taxes. This was the beginning of the Golden Age of Korean cinema. The directors were given freedom, but because the number of films produced in the country has grown significantly. From 1950 to 1959, the number of films produced per year grew by almost 23 times (from 5 to 111).

At the same time, the quality of the cinema developed. The authors began to experiment with genres and themes. For example, the director Kim Ki-young in his paintings brought to the fore the woman, and the woman is not a simple woman, but an imperious and overwhelming man. The most famous of his films on this subject was the “Handmaid” of 1960. This is a thriller about a maid who seduces her master.


Another super-provocative film from the sixties is Aimless bullet directed by Yu Hyun Mok. He talks about the reality in which South Korea found itself after the war: famine, devastation, numerous suicides and other problems. Due to such a vivid demonstration of unpleasant reality, the film was not allowed to be rented in the cinemas of the country. But in the West, at the San Francisco Film Festival, “Crazy Bullet” was received with a bang.