4. The Journals Of Musan

Director: Park Jung-bum

Director Park Jung-bum offers one of last year’s most tear-inducing movies in The Journals Of Musan. Following a North Korean defector struggling to adjust to life within a capitalistic south, Jung-bum’s film attempts to uncover the type of banishment escapees from the North encounters as foreigners.

The bowed-hair protagonist Seung-chul (played by Jung-bum himself) witnesses moral contradictions as he sets off in a distant land as a manual laborer for a crooked promoter. The new life away from the communistic North offers basic needs, yet it doesn’t prevent Seung-chul from facing discrimination. The fact that the director bases the protagonist on his friend, a real-life North Korean defector, certainly adds to the realism. The Journals Of Musan an art-house film with its emotional pitch turned up to a high decibel.