Independent films reign at summer box office
Those who read “125” as “one hundred twenty-five” rather than “one-two-five” have yet to see the film that has been the talk of South Korea and elsewhere in the first half of 2011.
The domestic film industry finished up the months from January to June amid a wave of independent film success and an overall slump in commercial film, with the summer box office battle now getting under way. The first six months of the year saw 68.5 million viewers in theaters, a drop of 940 thousand from the same period in 2010.
These numbers appear at the beginning of the second half of North Korean defectors’ resident registration numbers. Park Jung-bum’s “The Journals of Musan,” which depicts a North Korean defector with a “125” number living in South Korean society, has picked up thirteen awards at film festivals in South Korea and overseas, including the top prize at the Rotterdam International Film Festival.
With 10,852 viewers to date, it has passed the ten thousand viewer mark that represents the standard for success for a low-budget independent film.