My favorite class while at KNU was hands down my Korean Cinema class. The professor, a Canadian-raised Korean, gave detailed historical context for each film we studied and for the industry as a whole.
The film my group presented on was centered around the extremely rigorous and strict Korean education system and its effects on modern students. The film, Pluto, dealt with a great deal of extremely dark material to drive home the main themes. There were quite a few of the selected films that centered around either the Korean war or military in some way. Which makes perfect sense considering the history of the country and surrounding area. The topic of censorship was very prevalent in our discussion due to Korea’s former and current strict content censorship laws.
He showed us how intertwined the government and the entertainment industry can be and how people tell their stories trough film. My favorite parts of the class were our group discussions. We had an incredibly diverse group of students so the conversations could confront a topic from nearly every angle. We learned a lot not only about South Korea, but about everyone else’s home country. So at the end of the semester, when our professor showed us his own documentary that took us into his family life as a Canadian-raised Korean and the transition that everyone in his family went through, it felt much more personal and much more real than most of my classes in the past have ever been.