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THE JOURNALS OF MUSAN (2011) - Korean Cinema Echoes

  • dir. PARK JUNG-BUM
  • year. 2011
  • country. SOUTH KOREA
  • run-time. 127min
  • rating. N/A


Doors 7:00PM - Film 7:30PM

Deptford Cinema is proud to collaborate with the Korean Cultural Centre UK to bring you incredible cinema. Once a month, we'll screen a gem picked by KCC. And it's free!

After our foray into horror, we turn to independent drama about the experience of migrants in Korea. THE JOURNALS OF MUSAN chronicles the difficult assimilation of one man, a North Korean defector.

The Journals of Musan stars (and is written/directed by) Park Jung-bum as Seung-chul, a North Korean refugee who has defected to South Korea. He attempts to adjust to Seoul with a shy and submissive attitude. When Seung-chul is harassed by the authorities, he takes a new job at a karaoke bar to gain stability, an appropriate income, and less prejudice for being a defector. Seung-chul attends Mass every week in the hope that his spirituality will help him embrace his new surroundings.

The Journals of Musan is a precise character study in its detailed portrayal of alienation. But Park Jung-bum’s film also works as a broader exploration of the refugee experience; it illustrates the wide array of emotional adversity immigrants withstand: isolation, shame, hope, faith and even some humour. These are all on the spectrum of feelings that Seung-chul experiences and, we as an audience, experience with him.