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"Dear Pyongyang" is a fascinating, poignant exploration by a Japanese ­born ethnic Korean of her father's fierce loyalty, and her own resistance, to the North Korean cause. As a teenager, the filmmaker's father emigrated from South Korea to Japan. His experiences of Japanese occupation, Korea's subsequent division, and the Korean War molded him into a Marxist and self-pro-claimed North Korean. Like many others, he dedicat­ed himself to the vision of an unified, Communist Korea, leading a movement that championed Kim Il-­sung. Then in 1971, in the ultimate ideological sac­rifice, he sent his three sons – ages 14, 16, and 18 – to Pyongyang, North Korea, forever. Thirty years later, Yang Yong-hi, his youngest child, raised with the privileges of modern Japan, lovingly probes her father about his radical choices. She films multiple trips to Pyongyang, offering unprecedented access to North Korean daily life and the painful realities of familial separation. Her playful sessions, at times antagonistic, reveal a man at once rigid in his beliefs and surprisingly accomodating to change. Unafraid to confront complexity, Yang crafts a father-daughter story of geographic and spiritual diaspora, and of political and personal devotion. Caroline Libresco

Production: Cheon Inc., Tokyo

World Sales: Cine Qua Non

Screenplay, Cinematographer: Yang Yong-hi

Sound: Inumaru Masahiro

Editor: Nakawoo Akane

Format: Digi Beta PAL, Color

Running time: 107 minutes

Language: Japanese, Korean

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur