Lectures News

Guest Lecture by Gábor Sebő on North Korean Cinema – 15 May

Sebo_pic_NK Cinema-painting
Written by eltefilm

On Wednesday 15 May at 16:00 in room -135, Gábor Sebő, an expert on North Korean studies, will give a guest lecture in English on North Korean film. The title of the lecture is Beyond Propaganda – Exploring New Visions and Evolution of North Korean Film Culture.


Beyond Propaganda
Exploring New Visions and Evolution of North Korean Film Culture

North Korean cinema, showcased in both theaters and television broadcasts, has been deemed as an often misunderstood and enigmatic facet of world cinema since its inception, struggling to attain its rightful recognition on the global stage. Contrary to prevailing perceptions, North Korean films extend beyond mere ad nauseam didactic messages pertaining to the party, homeland, and leadership, instead featuring elements of entertainment that encompass a broad spectrum of content and form.
The paper’s in-depth analysis uncovers a diverse range of focal points spanning different cinematic decades, in accordance with a rich array of film genres, thereby challenging the stereotypical misconception about the exclusively propagandistic nature of North Korean film imagery. To comprehensively interpret the heterogeneous cinematic and television productions of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), a semiotic approach is indispensable, delving into the analysis of signs and symbols within their respective historical and political contexts.
While North Korean film remains marginalized in film critical discourses, it has garnered substantial popularity among domestic audiences, often recognized as some of the world’s most ardent film consumers. This dichotomy underscores the discrepancy between international perceptions of North Korean cinema and its reception within the country, offering a nuanced and multifaceted glimpse into the DPRK cultural plethora.
The study endeavors to illuminate the cinematic landscape of the DPRK, demonstrating it as a visual source of popular entertainment. Through an exploration of the evolution of North Korean cinema, the paper aspires to offer an objective understanding of this underexplored and neglected cultural terrain.

Dr. Gabor Sebo, a scholar specializing in North Korean Studies with a focus on Unification Policies, earned his Ph.D. from Korea University in 2018. In the academic year 2019/2020, he served as a Korea Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, followed by a research stint at the Research Institution of Korean Studies (RIKS) at Korea University as a visiting scholar. During the academic year 2021/2022, he assumed the role of a university lecturer at Yonsei University, teaching four undergraduate courses. In 2023/2024, Dr. Sebo holds the position of a visiting research fellow at the Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (KIKS) at Seoul National University (SNU). Currently, his scholarly focus centers on the composition of a monograph elucidating North Korean cinema.

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