2017 Film Series: South Korean Millennials

Coming of Age in the 21st Century

"Punch," a coming of age film set in an impoverished Seoul neighborhood, was one of Korea’s most popular films of 2011. It follows the life of a high school student who is more talented at fighting than at studying. His homeroom teacher seems to enjoy tormenting him. His disabled father struggles to support him. He doesn’t know anything about his mother, but discovers that she isn’t even Korean. The movie succeeds through its interesting and sympathetic portrayals of a diverse set of characters. 

"Punch", directed by Lee Han: Sunday, February 5, 3 p.m. at the IU Cinema


In conjunction with the film series, Hyunjoon Park will deliver a public lecture discussing the socioeconomic context of the films. This lecture is open to the public and a light lunch will be provided.

Hyunjoon Park is Korea Foundation Associate Professor of Sociology and Education at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interest includes educational stratification and family in cross-national comparative perspective, focusing on South Korea and other East Asian societies. Besides numerous articles and book chapters, he is the author of Re-Evaluating Education in Japan and Korea: De-mystifying Stereotypes (2013 Routledge) and co-editor of Korean Education in Changing Economic and Demographic Contexts (2014 Springer).

“Korean Millennials: Who are They?”: Friday, February 10, from 12-1:30 PM in GISB 1134


"Twenty" is a comedy about three friends who have just graduated from high school. They are not quite ready to be adults and they grapple with sexual urges, relationships and career paths. Rich boy, Chi Ho, is a slacker who only thinks about sex. Top student, Kyeong Jae goes to college, but is naïve about relationships. Dong Woo aspires to be a cartoonist but he has to work part-time to support his family because his father is in jail for fraud.

"Twenty", directed by Lee Byeong-heon: Sunday, February 12, 6:30 p.m. at the IU Cinema


"You Call it Passion" is a comedy/drama about a newly hired journalism graduate and her struggle to gain the respect of her colleagues. Like all beginning journalists, Rah-hee is paid less than the minimum wage, has little time to herself and does not receive any recognition for her work.  However, by the end of the movie she has an opportunity to demonstrate her journalistic integrity. The movie features compelling characters and excels in its realistic portrayal of the Korean office environment.

"You Call it Passion", directed by Jeong Gi-hun: Monday, February 13, 7 p.m. at the IU Cinema


Admission to films is free but ticketed. Tickets can be obtained at the IU Box Office during regular business hours, online throught www.cinema.indiana.edu/tickets, and in the IU Cinema lobby one hour prior to any screening.