Thanks to www.koreafilm.org
As a matter of fact, the debate about the first Korean movie is still ongoing. The foremost problem is that the film recognized until now as the first in Korea’s film history, < Fight for Justice(Uilijeog guto) >, is not completely a dramatic film but a screen-and-stage play, where a performance on an outside stage was recorded on camera and displayed on screen. The director of Shingeukja Productions, Kim Do-san, directed this film with the funds from Park Seung-pil, the manager of Danseongsa and was released in 1919. It was a film to be played in a small section out of the whole theatrical performance so the question about whether this should be regarded as a true film in itself still remains. There are also debates regarding the exact wording of the title, but an advertisement in Maeil Newspaper right about the time the film was released in 1919 writes the title as < Fight for Justice(Uilijeog guto) >. In any case, the Korean film industry views October 27th, 1919, the day of the first premiere of < Fight for Justice(Uilijeog guto) >, as the birth of the Korean film industry and October 27th is commemorated as Film Day. Many people have different interpretations about the content of this movie, but film historian Ahn Jong-hwa refers to it as the story of a man who defeats the schemes of his evil step-mother who has her greedy eyes set on his family assets.
Meanwhile, if we were to consider the first dramatic film as the true first film work, the 1923 film < The Vow Made below the Moon> should be recognized as the first Korean movie. Still, there are people who disagree with this, too. Some Korean film historians such as Jo Hee-mun argue that < The Border (Gukgyeong)>, which was released in January of 1923, should be considered as the first Korean film. However, since the production of this film was mainly directed a Japanese production company, Shochiku, and the producer was also Japanese, most people find it meaningless to recognize this as Korea’s first film. Also, since < The Vow Made Below the Moon(Weolha-ui mangseo) > was funded by Japanese capital, some argue that < The Story of Jang-hwa and Hong-ryeon (JanghwaHongryeonjeon) > made in 1924 and funded by Park Seung-pil, the president of Danseongsa, should be considered as the first Korean film. But this is not a widely accepted view either. At present, the 1923 film < The Vow Made below the Moon(Weolha-ui mangseo) > should be considered as the first dramatic film of Korea.
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