Sohye Kim

Friday, March 10, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. in CEAS 319 (1155 E. 60th St.)

Sohye Kim, “The Divided Nation and Korean Diasporic Filmmakers’ Bittersweet Return”

Please join us this Friday as we host Sohye Kim (PhD Candidate, EALC). Sohye will present a draft of the third chapter of her dissertation. She summarizes the chapter as follows:

This paper explores the notions of home, homeland, and homecoming in Korean diaspora films. By following Korean diasporic filmmakers’ cinematic journey between the divided homeland and host country, it questions how the medium of film delivers the experience of homecoming. The notion of “homecoming” is applied not only to human subjects’ return to their homeland in the film texts but also to the diasporic filmmakers’ incorporation into the homeland’s film industry. By examining the homecoming in this dual sense, the paper aims to illuminate the relationships between the diasporic films and human subjects and the audience of both homeland and host country.

To be specific, this paper deals with works by ethnic Korean filmmakers active in Japan that either feature the issue of homecoming or were produced in South Korea. My analysis centers upon two second-generation Korean residents in Japan—one male and one female—and relatively established directors in Japan, namely, Sai Yoichi and Yang Yong-hi. I focus on Blood and Bones (2004) by the former and the documentaries Dear Pyongyang (2005) and Sona, the Other Myself (2010) as well as Our Homeland (2012), a feature film, by the latter. My main concern in this paper revolves around the directors’ unstable and shifting positions between the host country, Japan, the home country, divided Korea, and spectatorship in both countries. On the basis of historical contextualization, I comparatively explore the relationships among representations, audience reactions, generations, and gender.

The paper is available at this link. If you have not received the password for the post, or if you have questions about accessibility, please feel free to contact Alex Murphy at



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