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Representations of Landscape in Film: The (Reel) Korean Demilitarized Zone

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Item Summary

Title:Representations of Landscape in Film: The (Reel) Korean Demilitarized Zone
Authors:Fuhriman, Christopher
Contributors:Goss, Jon (advisor)
Geography and Environment (department)
Korean Demilitarized Zone
historical geography
show 4 moreconceptualizations of the DMZ
American cinema
South Korean cinema
motion pictures
show less
Date Issued:May 2008
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2008]
Abstract:On July 27, 1953 General Mark W. Clark of the United States Army, Kim Il Sung of North Korea, and Peng Teh-huai of the Chinese Volunteers signed the armistice agreement, formally ceasing all combat operations which had relentlessly devastated the Korean countryside and urban centers for three years (Fehrenbach, 1998). The truce agreement included the creation of a demilitarized zone—a swath of uninhabited territory four kilometers wide, stretching more than 243 kilometers from the west coast to the east coast (Bartz, 1972). At the center of the DMZ lies the Military Demarcation Line (MDL), perfectly preserving the actual line of contact between opposing forces when the cease-fire was signed (ibid.). The MDL is marked by 1,292 rusty yellow signs mounted on poles, each sign clearly visible from the next. No marker is more than 500 meters from its closest neighbor, and in some cases (where the MDL curves) the signs are only separated by 300 meters (Lee, 2001). Today, just as the first day they were erected in 1953, a series of barbed-wire fences mark the outer edges of the DMZ (figure 1-1). In total, more than a million and a half soldiers still stand guard on both sides of the Korean Demilitarized Zone.
Much more than an artificial border etched into the landscape by conflict, the DMZ is a complex, unique space which has gone largely unexplored (literally and conceptually) since its construction. What is the nature of this space delineated first on pen and paper, and since reproduced by fences and mines? A physical description of the landscape (commonly found in books on the geography of Korea) fails to capture the underlying meanings of the buffer zone created at the end of the Korean War. My analysis of contrasting perspectives of the DMZ presented in movies from the United States of America and South Korea will examine the cinematic image(s) of this final front of the Cold War.
Description:MA University of Hawaii at Manoa 2008
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 145–156).
Pages/Duration:vi, 156 leaves, bound : illustrations ; 29 cm
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: M.A. - Geography

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