Understanding the Korean War Through the Lens of Film
On June 14th, Asia Society Korea held the year’s first face-to-face monthly lecture. Against the backdrop of the upcoming 72nd anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, distinguished ambassadors and guests from the diplomatic community were treated to a fascinating analysis of the role of film in depicting the war from South Korea, North Korea, and Chinese perspectives.
Moderated by John Delury, a senior fellow of Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations and professor of International Studies at Yonsei University, the lecture included insights from Tatiana Gabroussenko, professor of North Korean studies at Korea University; Henry Em, associate professor of Korean history at Yonsei University; and Andrew Salmon, Seoul-based journalist, broadcaster, and author.
Often labeled as the forgotten war, the battle on the peninsular was a vast human tragedy that defined and shaped relationships between Korea and the wider world. While the Korean War may be distant and abstract to those outside Korea, the film and cinema industry has produced hundreds of movies worldwide depicting the conflict in popular culture. As the panelists highlighted, countries often use these films to show different perspectives and historical interpretations and portray the main protagonists in various lights.
Tatiana Gabroussenko graduated from the Far Eastern State University (ex-USSR), where she majored in Korean history. She obtained her Ph.D. in East Asian Studies at the Australian National University. Tatiana is an Assistant Professor in North Korean Studies at the Faculty of Korean Studies at Korea University where she teaches subjects related to mass culture, arts and propaganda of the DPRK.