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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Labor News No.1

Labor News No.1

director: Labor News Production
country: South Korea
year: 1989
running time: 74 min.

synopsis

The working class continues to be a victim of the cold war on both sides of the Korean Peninsula. While in the North it led to the establishment of a totalitarian regime, in the South, factory workers have become the target of anti-Communist propaganda and the modern-day slaves of gigantic government-backed corporations. Recordings of protests, television talk shows and songs about the fight against injustice present the wave of collective defiance that swept across the entire country in 1989. South Korean unions organized mass demonstrations in which the struggle was not for the Left or for the Right, but for democracy and the right to a dignified life.
 
“How much more we can get is not the whole issue. What is at stake is the problem of whether we could secure the foundation for humane lives, or go back to the lives of slaves.“ Labor News No. 1

biography

Labor News Production, also known under the acronym LNP, was established in 1991. It is active in many areas, including production, research and educational programs. Its aim is to contribute to the democratization of South Korean society through the mass media.

more about film

director: Labor News Production

other films in the section

Ganymede
A poetic study based on a series of images taken of Jupiter’s moons that captures how a terrestrial world bathes in the light of the largest moon in our solar system. Light rays transform organic structures into dispersed abstract images. When we close our eyes, we see the cosmic dimension of our consciousness in this foggy landscape. "My work is based on traditional Korean painting and my experience with abstract painting." Youjin Moon
personal program

Ganymede

Youjin Moon
South Korea / 2016 / 9 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
Czech Premiere
Global Groove
This key work of video art from the pre-Internet era presents the present saturated by sensory stimuli and its global dimension in a visionary way. The breathtaking psychedelic stream flows between avant-garde and the mass media, as well as among cultures. Allen Ginsberg, John Cage or Navajo, Korean and Nigerian artists ride the same wave.   “If we could compile a weekly TV festival made up of music and dance from every county, and distributed it free-of-charge round the world via the proposed common video market, it would have a phenomenal effect on education and entertainment.” Nam June Paik
personal program

Global Groove

Nam June Paik
South Korea / 1973 / 29 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
noimage
Following the modernization and industrialization of the country and the adoption of the Western model, Japan turned to annexed territory to cover the lack of resources on its own soil. Under the rule of the Japanese Empire, Korea thus became a stockpile of human labor and livestock.
personal program

Livestock Industry of Korea

South Korea / 1924 / 7 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
Czech Premiere
PRISMA
A cyclically awakening character or a show of both visual and sound errors are how Im deconstructs the pre-camera reality in his experimental film. The object of his interest is not the material world, but the power of the medium itself. The film appears as a living being, who with his mechanical limbs walks between the creator and the viewer. The medium as a divine algorithm decomposes reality and reassembles it. It dissolves the original meanings and floods things, places, and people with new collective beings.   "The traces of hidden time and dream were revived and playback eternally." PRISMA  
personal program

PRISMA

Cheol-min Im
South Korea / 2013 / 61 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
Czech Premiere
Sanggye-Dong Olympic
In preparation for the 1988 Summer Olympics, the Korean government evicted one hundred and sixty families out onto the streets. It demolished their houses in the slums of Seoul's Sanggyedong and had luxury apartments built in its place. Dongwon Kim lived with the evicted families for three years and filmed their fight against the state authorities. The alarming film reveals the averted face of a sporting event abused for ideological purposes. He ushered in a new era of Korean social documentaries, revealing the averted face of South Korea perceived as a land of fabulous wealth, happiness, and economic growth.   "The situation requires us to make films on social issues." Dongwon Kim
personal program

Sanggye-Dong Olympic

Dong-won Kim
South Korea / 1988 / 27 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
Czech Premiere
The Murmuring
This film has a 500 views limit. Each Wednesday noon, a group of women gather in front of the Embassy of Japan in Seoul to stand up for the rights of comfort women. They demand that the Japanese government issues a formal apology and pays damages to the Korean women who were forced to serve as sex slaves by the Japanese army during the WWII. After years of living in seclusion and humiliation, these women decided to share their stories with the director and speak about this previously undisclosed chapter of the history of Korea. The Murmuring is one of the first Korean documentary films widely distributed in cinemas and forms the first part of the director's documentary trilogy about Korean women forced into sexual slavery, with the second part called Habitual Sadness (1997) and the third and final part My Own Breathing (1999).   „When I was gathering my friends to work with, I had a chance to visit House of Sharing – which was located in Hapjeong back then. Halmonis at House of Sharing were hostile to me just because I was a documentary filmmaker. I, however, was rather fascinated by their deep wounds and the defensive wall they had built. That was how the film started, but what I didn’t know at all was that it would turn out to be an eight-year-long documentary trilogy.“
personal program

The Murmuring

Young-joo Byun
South Korea / 1995 / 93 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
Czech Premiere
Factory Complex
Workers in Asian textile factories, flight attendants, and call center workers represent generations of mothers and daughters who have experienced the onset of neo-liberalism first-hand since the 1970s. Under the control of giants such as Samsung and Daewoo, they come to know the flip side of the dream of prosperity, which is also reflected in the surrealist René Magritte's Kiss of Lovers. The pair have their heads tangled in cloth, much like the heroines of the film, representing global blindness, and raises the question of whether only the exploited Third World workers are blind, or customers of e-shops and branded stores in the west as well.   “At the beginning of my career, I felt like a researcher, activist, social worker, or educator. Now I feel more like a funeral home employee.” Im Heung-soon
personal program

Factory Complex

IM Heung-soon
South Korea / 2014 / 95 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
Czech Premiere
2minutes40seconds
A dynamic mosaic with monumental orchestra accompaniment shows the South Korea of the 1970s as one of the strongest economies of the region. Images of progress of the civilization and modern lifestyle interspersed with strong cultural and religious tradition make an appeal to the divided nation to unite.
personal program

2minutes40seconds

Ok-hee Han
South Korea / 1975 / 10 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
Ten Oxherding Pictures #4: Catching the Ox-Two Chinese Quinces
Zen meditation, inspired by a series of ten Buddhist poems, reflects on the fate of two quinces. In vivid detail and framed by a red and white poetic acronym, these two fruits of the same tree set out on two fascinatingly different journeys. Each quince becomes part of a contemplative still life, both at a different pace and in a different space. They transform into an abstract part of the pictorial composition and, impartially, with the silent snowfall and the murmurs of rain and thunder, presenting the cycle of death and birth and departure and return.   "This film seeks to answer the question of what enlightenment is and how to achieve it." Ji-sang Lee 
personal program

Ten Oxherding Pictures #4: Catching the Ox-Two Chinese Quinces

Lee Ji-sang
South Korea / 2007 / 22 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
An Escalator in World Order
This editorial essay composed of propaganda films and news stories criticises the development of US-Korean relations after the Second World War. Kyung-man Kim subtly emphasises the rhetoric of the celebratory documents and turns it on its head. A constellation of Korean and American statesmen creates a media image of South Korea as a war-torn country that rises from the ashes like the mythical phoenix and, with the help of its saviour the USA, transforms itself into an economic power. But all the celebratory ceremonies, military parades, and rhetorical performances of Reagan, Clinton, and Bush are just puppet theatres for obedient citizens of a country troubled by dictatorship and autocratic regimes.   “The collision and irony between faith and the world, the unbridgeable gap.” 
personal program

An Escalator in World Order

Kyung-man Kim
South Korea / 2012 / 115 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
I Am a Truck
The clip, one of twenty news clips that Kim made for the American Information Service shortly after the end of the Korean War, tells the story of a car. The vehicle speaks in a continuous monologue to the audience as it follows the process of its demise and rebirth. The components move from the junkyard to the car factory, where they are transformed into the metal interior of a new vehicle. We are not just following the story of the car, but that of the entire country as it recovers from the war and builds a new economy, led by businesses like Hyundai, a symbol of prosperity and national pride.“How will humanity make enough for three meals a day out of post-war poverty?”Kim Ki-young
personal program

I Am a Truck

Kim Ki-young
South Korea / 1953 / 18 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
Czech Premiere
A Dream of Iron
In the port city of Ulsan, fishermen once worshiped the whale as an exalted deity. Today, the port is occupied by Hyundai's steelworks and shipyards. This captivating essay shows how metal colossi are born in the mechanical bowels of factories. Shafts, beams, and cranes of superhuman size form the graceful curves of the mechanical gods of the industrial age. In his second feature film, based on a video installation, Park recontextualizes industrial production. The levitating iron masses transform into artistic and religious artifacts against a backdrop of Mahler, Tibetan songs, and the sound of whales.   "I compose films rather than edit them - to me, it's like creating a piece of music."   Kelvin Kyung Kun Park
personal program

A Dream of Iron

Kelvin Kyung Kun Park
South Korea / 2010 / 79 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
Czech Premiere
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