The Suffered, the Un-represented, Yet Still the Protesting: The Cinematic Un-representations of the Bereaved Mothers in post-Kwangju May Uprising Movements

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S/N Korean Humanities Vol.6 No.1 pp.93-122 ISSN : 2384-0668(Print)
ISSN : 2384-0692(Online)

Gooyong Kim
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

Received January 31, 2020; Revised version received February 24, 2020; Accepted February 28, 2020


This article examines how feature films represent mothers who became activists after having lost a child during the Kwangju May Uprising. As a means to reconsider how the mass medium helps shape the public’s understanding of various factors in the historic event and its contribution to democratization in Korea, this paper examines whether the popular entertainment genre provides the audience with a sound perspective to learn different human factors in the Uprising as well as post-Uprising social movements. Specifically, this article examines how the film portrays women’s involvement in post-Uprising movement, focusing on the gendered nature of representation, or un-representations of female activists in the movies on the Uprising and other social movements. This paper calls for a more just recognition of various human components that contribute to social transformation, by overcoming the epistemological hegemony of patriarchy.

Key Words : Kwangju May Uprising, post-Uprising movement, bereaved mothers of the Uprising, spectatorial moralization, cinematic discourse, cinematic representation

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