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This stylish film starts with the fall of Berlin Wall, unfolding the story of a Korean sister and brother, who were adopted to France. Made in 1991, this film mirrors the division of the Korean peninsula using the Berlin Wall and raises the question: What really obstructs ‘our’ nation’s unification?
This film can be read as a multi-layered political allegory. Young-hee, a girl sexually abused by her French military stepfather, allegorizes South Korea, while her East-Germanesque socialist brother stands in for North Korea. And the French police, who are chasing Young-hee’s abusive father and her brother, are the allegorical representation of the imperialistic countries that constantly interfere in the unification of Korea, due to foreign policy interests. Berlin Report, a prominent political film in the period, imagines two kinds of nation. One is a nationalism based on blood ties that insists that North and South Korea must be re-unified just as Young-hee and her brother should be; one bloodline must not be separated. The other is a nationalism of victimhoodthat regards North and South Korea as victims in the battlefield of imperialism, forced to live apart, just as Young-hee and her brother are separated after a brief encounter. The steady cam shot that connects different times, spaces and characters together is one of the most breathtaking scenes in the film. (Kim Sun-ah)
Park Kwang-suPark Kwang-su
Born in 1955 in Sokcho, Park Kwang-su graduated from the College of Fine Arts of Seoul National University, where he was actively involved in the film circle, Ayallshung. After his film studies at the ESEC Film School in Paris, Park made his debut feature Chilsu and Mansu in 1988. His subsequent features Black Republic (1990), Berlin Report (1991), To the Starry Island (1994), A Single Spark (1996) and The Uprising (1999) have won numerous prizes at home and abroad. He is also a professor at Film and Multimedia Department of Korean National University of Arts.