Dance Town

Rhee Jung-Nim lives with her husband Jung Man-il on the outskirts of Pyonyang in North Korea. Their apartment looks like all the others here and the only adornment in their dark living room are the portraits of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jung-il and the radio that blares out pop music. Jung Man-il, who goes back and forth between China and North Korea on business, gets arrested by the North Korean security forces for possessing foreign products and pornography. He barely manages to get his wife out of the country before hand. She arrives safely in South Korea and, after being interrogated, Jung-Nim is given citizenship of the Republic of Korea. Kim Soo-jin is assigned by the goverment to help her to find her feet in the new country that is so very different to the one she knew on the other side of the border. Jung-Nim does all she can to try forget the traumatic experience of her escape; she begins a new life, takes part in a training programme, finds a job and tries to adapt as best she can. But she cannot forget her husband. Jung Man-il is still languishing in prison somewhere in North Korea. At night Jung-Nim plays the videos she and her husband used to watch together in Pyongyang – and she is overwhelmed by despair. The people she meets all have troubles of their own: there’s Jina, a pregnant teenager; Lee Jun-hyeok, who is handicapped, divorced and just as lonely as she is and, last but not least, Oh Seong-tae, a petrol pump attendant at the local police station who has his eye on her. The longer she is separated from Jung Man-il, the more she misses her husband. But then, one day, she hears from him again …
by Jeon Kyu-hwan
with Ra Mir-an, Oh Seong-tae
South Korea 2010 95’

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