“Koryo Saram” (the Soviet Korean phrase for Korean person) tells the harrowing saga of survival in the open steppe country and the sweep of Soviet history through the eyes of these deported Koreans, who were designated by Stalin as an “unreliable people” and enemies of the state. Through recently uncovered archival footage and new interviews, the film follows the deportees’ history of integrating into the Soviet system while working under punishing conditions in Kazakhstan, a country which became a concentration camp of exiled people from throughout the Soviet Union.
Today, in the context of Kazakhstan’s recent emergence as a rapidly modernizing, independent state, the story of the Kazakhstani-Koreans situated within this ethnically diverse country has resonance with the
experience of many Americans and how they have assimilated to form new cultures in our world of increasingly displaced people.
The screening will be followed by a conversation between filmmaker Y. David Chung and Prof. John Kuo Wei Tchen, Founding Director of A/P/A Institute at NYU.