Korean Film industry under threat
If, like me, you've been an admirer of Korean cinema over the past few years, the recent news that the Korean government plans to halve the number of days its theatres can show domestic films may come as a bit of a shock.
Currently 146 days per annum are allocated for home grown product, however, due to increased pressure from the US, South Korea's President Roh Moo-Hyun is planning to reduce this amount to 73 days beginning in July. As soon as the news was announced,many top Korean filmakers and actors staged one man protests in the streets of Seoul, with Choi Min Sik (star of Oldboy) even handing back a goverment medal he'd received,s tating it was "now nothing more than a sign of disgrace, and it is with a heavy heart that I must return it" (source:Korean Cinema Times)
I think this is utterly disgraceful, though obviously well in keeping with the way the world is today. Every single country now seems to be dominated by US culture. Here in the UK the majority of our cinemas would rather show the very worst that America can give us, while our TV channels are increasingly US dominated. The fact that Korea has a thriving film industry which is less dependant on Hollywood should be seen as a good thing and worth fighting for. Oh,and don't forget that the US currently has at least 6 Korean remakes in various stages of production which means that come July, Koreans may stand a better chance of seeing a foreign version of one of their films at the cinema, than a local production.
Maybe it's about time some countries started limiting the amount of US films they screen. Starting with Big Mommas House 2 perhaps?