Tourist Distractions: Traveling and Feeling in Transnational Hallyu Cinema
Postmemory DMZ: Joint Security Area, Yesterday, and 2009: Lost Memories
This chapter explores remembrance in the form of the imagined, filmic reconstruction of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea in the murder mystery Joint Security Area (Park Chan-wook, 2000); the alternate history in the science-fiction film Yesterday (Chŏng Yun-su, 2002); and the time-travel film 2009 Lost Memories (Lee Si-myung, 2002). In contrast to the stasis of the actual DMZ as a historical site and truce memorial, the DMZ in filmic representations within the first Korean Wave embraced its touristic potential; though transmuted to an imagined national park and dislodged trope, it essentially retains its representation as a site foremost of attraction. This chapter argues that these films about the DMZ, by enabling the tourist gaze on an otherwise restricted site, propel it in its transition from the historical and material to the figurative, where it functions in Korea’s imagining of its relationships with China and Japan.