Women’s and feminist film practices in South Korea are normally considered to have emerged in the mid-1990s, when class issues and nationalism no longer drew serious attention from the country’s dominant intellectual discourse. This view tends to imply that women’s filmmaking practices were virtually nonexistent before the 1990s. In opposition to the conventional view, this work shows that women’s filmmaking with feminist intent arose in the 1970s in South Korea, contemporaneous with Western cine-feminism. It also argues that South Korean women’s films have developed a unique narrative discourse in which patriarchal male-centrism sustaining class politics and nationalism is challenged and deconstructed. To illustrate these points, this study calls attention to the fact that women’s filmmaking has taken place in the noncommercial independent cinema sector since the 1970s in South Korea. By examining four independent women filmmakers.Han Ok-Hee, Kim Soyoung, Byeon Yeong-Ju, and Ryu Mi-Rye.and their films, it maintains that independent women’s films have made continuous efforts to subvert male-centered ideologies, seeking new positions for women.
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