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The Political Economy Of Patriotism: The Case Of Hanbando

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Chapter Summary

A blockbuster film with the title Hanbando opened in July of 2006. Preceded by a lavish advertising campaign, the film occupied one of every three cinema screens in South Korea during its initial run. Why this big-budget, patriotic film, featuring a number of well-known stars and evoking a wide range of topical issues of contention between South Korea and Japan, proved a financial failure and critical disaster is the story that this article attempts to tell. A detailed examination of a section of Hanbando will consider the film-makers’ choice of actors and choice of film style. Also taken into account will be the background of the production company, CJ Entertainment, and the film’s director Kang Woo-suk. Further matters looked at briefly include one other highly fictionalised film about Korean-Japanese conflict, Phantom, the Submarine, and the significance of the Japanese market for the products of South Korea’s new cinema.

Keywords: Hanbando; Kang Woo-suk; patriotism; political economy



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