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The illusion of antipathy, The ‘Free’ civilian deliberative organization 'Youngryun'

  • The Journal of Korean drama and theatre
  • 2024, (81), pp.65-105
  • Publisher : The Learned Society Of Korean Drama And Theatre
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Received : March 15, 2024
  • Accepted : April 15, 2024
  • Published : April 30, 2024

Arum Song 1

1연세대학교 매체와예술연구소

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The National Committee for Film Ethics has been described as a civilian deliberative organization established to inherit the spirit of 4.19, to avoid the censorship of the past and to ensure the autonomy and artistry of films. The establishment of the Youngryun has been of great significance in Korean film history, as the long-standing state censorship was transferred to private hands and, most importantly, the organization was composed of the power of the film industry. It is worth noting, however, that the assessment of the Youngryun is constructed by proxying the violence of authoritarian censorship rather than by identifying specific activities. In fact, Youngryun's activities were not so far removed from the methods of the authoritarian censors, and in some ways, it was because they faced extreme discord with the film industry. The Youngryun was made up of people from all walks of life who considered Korean film to be of a very low standard and believed it should be regulated through bans. Youngryun's code of ethics, which is not too dissimilar to the one promulgated by the Ministry of Education, reveals how Youngryun treated the Korean film industry. Furthermore, the fact that the organization was founded by The Motion Picture Alliance, who is far removed from the production of the movie, reveals that Youngryun is far removed from the spontaneous movement within the film industry.The organization was formed around The Motion Picture Alliance, who had previously shown affinity with social figures who advocated the need for regulation of Korean cinema, while those who actually produced and imported films were forced to pay for the organization's operations amidst increased censorship procedures. This Youngryun of people from outside the film industry never thought to solve problems internally as they arose, and it was turning into a deliberative process that was effectively similar to state censorship. 4.19 Even when the constitution was amended shortly after the revolution to make even the Ministry of Education's censorship of films unconstitutional, Youngryun sought the authority of the Ministry of Education to put itself in a position similar to that of the government censors, and did not consider consulting with the film industry. This created a paradox that binds the film industry, forcing the censored to face deliberations not unlike those of the bureaucratic censors, only more intense. In this way, the Youngryun demonstrated that a body of civilian deliberation can never exist as a free body if it is not formed by internal forces and if it tries to follow the methods and powers of the state censorship.

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.