To commemorate the 76th anniversary of the Liberation on August 15, we will introduce eight news films recording the circumstances during the liberation struggle. We present four issues of news film in a series named Korean Newsreel
[시보] produced by the Department of Public Information (DPI) and four other issues named Haebang News
[해방 뉴-쓰]. It allows us to witness the chaotic social aspects of the liberation struggle.
is a news film series produced by DPI, which conducted every step of the film-related business including production, import and distribution in South Korea right after the Liberation. From January 1946 to the end of 1947, a total of 27 issues of Korean Newsreel
is a news film series capturing the energy and joy of the Liberation all over the country. The series was produced by filmmakers who once worked for the Joseon Movie Film Production Company (조선영화주식회사), and ran out into the streets the day after the Liberation with their cameras to capture the raw emotions of Koreans.
Various important events of the time are vividly captured in Korean Newsreel
and Haebang News
: the visit to Korea by U.S. Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson in 1946 (January 14, 1946), the first formal talks of the US-Soviet Joint Commission (January 16, 1946), the establishment ceremony of the Democratic National Assembly of the Republic of Korea in South Korea (June 14, 1946), the first official discussion of the US-Soviet Joint Commission (March 20, 1946), the 1st anniversary of Liberation Day (August 15, 1946), the 500th anniversary of the promulgation of Hangeul (October 7-9, 1946), the opening session of the newly elected Assembly after the 1946 South Korean Legislative Election (December 12, 1946), etc.
The news reels also portray the everyday lives in South Korea faithfully: inter-Korea exchange of mail at Gaeseong Station, an exhibition of national specialties, training of the Korean National Guard, demonstration of rural life for the US military, a garden party for domestic and foreign reporters, and sports-related events such as city to city baseball tournaments, Korea-US baseball tournaments, etc.
In addition, the news reels show us the monumental places at the time: buildings of the Government-General of Korea, which was used by the U.S. Military Government; Seokjojeon Hall of Deoksugung Palace, which was used as the main venue for events by the U.S. Military Government; other major sites in Seoul such as Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, Donghwa Department Store, Seoul District Court, Seoul Stadium, and Gwanghwamun. The films also provide a glimpse into Korean life at the time: military ritual training and inspections, the cars used by government officials, people's clothes, attitudes, and accessories.
KANG, Joon-mann, A Walk on the Modern History of Korea – the 1940s, Vol. 1
[한국 현대사 산책 1940년대편 1권], Seoul: Inmulkwasasang [인물과사상사], 2002.
MOON Je-an, et. al., Memory of the August 15th: Landscapes of the Liberation Space, and Historical Experiences of 40 People
[8·15의 기억: 해방공간의 풍경, 40인의 역사 체험], Seoul: Hangilsa, 2005.
HAN Sang-eon, Films and Flimmakers in the Liberation Space
[해방 공간의 영화·영화인], Seoul: Theory and Practice [이론과실천], 2013.
HAN Sang-eon, “A Study on Go to Liberated Korea [다큐멘터리 <해방조선을 가다> 연구],” Contemporary Film Studies
, Vol.4, 2007.
Databases of The Dong-a Ilbo, The Chosun Ilbo, Kyunghyang Shinmun
※ Haebang News
were collected by the Korean Film Archive from the Kobe Planet Film Archive in Japan in 2005, and Korean Newsreels were collected from the National Archives and Records Administration in the United States by the Korean Film Archive in conjunction with the Korea University Center for Korean History.