Thursday, July 12, 2007

Koryo Saram Premieres in Almaty, July 15 & 17

Browsing through old news items & links, I just saw that a Kazakhstan screening of the new documentary, Koryo Saram: The Unreliable People, is scheduled for next week, on July 15 (Sunday) and July 17 (Tuesday). This film traces the history of Koreans forcibly deported from coastal Far East Russia to the steppes of Kazakhstan in the 1930s & 1940s. It sounds fascinating, uncovering the history of one of the many hyphenated-Kazakhstani ethnicities. From the film's website comes this description:

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 these 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.

A quick search hasn't come up with any more information, such as location or times. Anyone in Almaty who can find out (Gulnara? Leila??), please comment!


Koryo Saram: The Unreliable People website

"Koryo-saram" article at Wikipedia

"Forced Deportation and Literary Imagination": an article exploring the effects of deportation to Kazakhstan on the Soviet Koreans, and how these experiences are realized in Soviet Korean literature.

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