Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Koryo Saram: The Unreliable People

Tue, April 28, 2009 | GRG 102

7:00 PM

On Tuesday, April 28th the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies will screen "Koryo Saram: The Unreliable People," winner of the Best Documentary National Film Board of Canada at the 2007 Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and the official selection of the San Paolo International Film Festival and San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. The film will follow with a QandA session with the director, Y. David Chung.

In 1937, Stalin began a campaign of massive ethnic cleansing and forcibly deported everyone of Korean origin living in the coastal provinces of the Far East Russia near the border of North Korea to the unsettled steppe country of Central Asia 3700 miles away. "Koryo Saram"(the Soviet Korean phrase for Korean person) tells the harrowing saga of survival in the open steppe country and the sweep of Soviet history through the eyes of some of the 180,000 deported Koreans, who were designated by Stalin as an "unreliable people" and enemies of the state. Through recently uncovered archival footage and new interviews, the film follows the deportees' history of integrating into the Soviet system while working under punishing conditions in Kazakhstan, a country which became a concentration camp of exiled people from throughout the Soviet Union.

Director Y. David Chung is an associate professor of Art and Design and the Director for the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Michigan. Dr. Chung is an artist and filmmaker whose credits include: "Surveillance, No Place to Hide" (HBO), "American Journey" (PBS), "Gardens of Paradise" (PBS), "The Forgotten People" (PBS), "Soldiers in Hiding" (HBO), and "Peace on Borrowed Time" (ABC). In 1996, he won the Best of Show Award at the Rosebud Film and Video Awards in Washington D.C. for "Turtle Boat Head," and he was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts in 1996.

For more information visit the website at:

Sponsored by: CREEES, the Documentary Center, the POSCO Chair in Korean Studies and the Center for East Asian Studies

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