Busan International Film Festival announces the first-ever reveal of 'Nakdong River'

Image: Korean Film Archives
Image: Korean Film Archives

Busan International Film Festival announces the first-ever reveal of 'Nakdong River'

haps Magazine Korea

The digitally remastered film, Nakdong River which was made in 1952 and produced during the Korean War era, will be revealed for the first time at the 27th Busan International Film Festival, which will be held for 10 days from October 5 to Oct 14.

Nakdong River, a feature film that recorded the battlefield of the Korean War, holds significant value for the Korean film and music industry as well as historical value for the nation. Based on a poem of the same name by Lee Eun-sang, who received the National Academy of Arts Award and the Main Award in the Arts and Sciences section of the 5·16 National Award, this film, directed by Jeon Chang-keun, is a semi-documentary that contains video clips from the Korean War.

The original film file of director Jeon Chang-keun’s Nakdong River was recently discovered by the Korean Film Archive and digitally remastered in 4K. The film, restored after 70 years, is the third film to be preserved among the 14 films produced during the Korean War. It holds significant historical and artistic value as the only Korean War film in existence with no loss in video or sound, and it is generating much excitement after the announcement of its first-ever reveal at the 27th Busan International Film Festival.

Nakdong River dynamically shows the urgent situation of that time through a reenactment of the Nakdong River Defense Line Battle, which lasted for 55 days from August 1 to September 24, 1950. The film was able to heighten the sense of reality while simultaneously informing the audience, who were refugees at the time, by inserting real footage of the battle into the film. Filmed during the war and premiering in Busan in February of 1952, the film offered solace and encouragement to the audience, who had suffered greatly from the pain of war.

The film holds historical significance, not only due to its production period but also with the film’s premiere in refugee cities such as Busan and Daegu in South Korea.

Unreleased Song by World-renowned Composer, Yun I-sang, Revealed!

The passion for artistic creativity of contemporary culture artists, such as composer Yun I-sang, poet Lee Eun-sang, and dancer Cho Yong-ja, is found throughout the movie, Nakdong River.

Dancer Cho Yong-ja’s movements, with the Nakdong River as the backdrop, powerfully capture the film’s ambiance. In addition, world-renowned composer, Yun I-sang, participated in the film score.

The score used in the movie draws attention as it is a similar theme melody to composer Yun I-sang’s unreleased orchestral piece, ‘The Poetry of Nakdong River’.

The handwritten score, ‘The Poetry of Nakdong River’, which was discovered in 2017, is presumed to be the source for the score of the 1952 film, Nakdong River.

The first-ever premiere of Nakdong River at the Busan International Film Festival is made even more special as the original score, ‘The Poetry of Nakdong River’ will also have its first-ever reveal.

Furthermore, the choral song, ‘Nakdong River’, which is found at the beginning and end of the film, combines the words of poet Lee Eun-sang’s poem as lyrics to the orchestral piece of composer Yun I-sang, which further increases the grandeur of the movie.

The 27th Busan International Film Festival will be held for 10 days from October 5 to October 14 at the Busan Cinema Center.

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