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A Study on the Cinematic Exchange Between North Korea and China (1956-1966)

LIU YU 1

1한양대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article focused on the history of the movie exchange between North Korea and China for approximately 10 years from the “August Incident” that debuted in North Korea in 1956 to the just before the cultural revolution began in China in 1966. In North Korea and China, all films are regarded as highly appealing art forms, such as editorials in the newspaper operated by the Communist Party. The movie exchange between North Korea and China occurred in a politically and diplomatically interdependent relationship between the two countries. However, the meaning of political communication was greater than exploring artistry or commercialism in both countries. The films strengthened friendship and solidarity between the nations, and at the same time, showed its influence as an auxiliary means to promote and incite common political ideology. Although the Korean War erupted in 1950, the movie exchanges between North Korea and China continued, which had been practiced since independence. However, as the relationship between North Korea and China temporarily cooled which had been cold since the ‘Blood Alliance’ through the war in the past due to the outbreak of the “August Incident” in North Korea in 1956, the movie exchanges met with an unusual suspension because of the intense political differences. Since then, the two countries have experienced cooperation and close contact, as well as cooling and refraction. In particular, North Korea and China experienced cracks and sutures regarding historical events since the late 1950s such as the complete withdrawal of Chinese troops stationed in North Korea and conflicts between China and the USSR. Different aspects in the development of movie exchanges between the two countries were shown. In terms of the characteristics of film exchange, that is, in terms of acceptance, movies on two themes such as “Anti-imperialism” and “Construction of the Socialist Country”, are emerging as mainstream thought. In this period when ideology and system could not be overcome, enhancing the loyalty to the Communist Party and the country, which had always been important, shows the mass culture aspect of the movie in connection with the re-illumination of history through socialist realism techniques and the capture of reality.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.