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대중서사연구

  • P-ISSN1738-3188
  • E-ISSN27139964

일본군 ‘위안부’의 영화적 기억과 크로노폴리틱스

Chronopolitics in the Cinematic Representations of “Comfort Women”

대중서사연구, (P)1738-3188; (E)27139964
2020, v.26 no.1, pp.175-209
https://doi.org/10.18856/jpn.2020.26.1.006
박현선 (서강대학교 트랜스내셔널 인문학 연구소)
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Abstract

This paper examines how the cinematic representation of the Japanese military “comfort women” stimulates ‘imagination’ in the realm of everyday life and in the memory of the masses, creating a common awareness and affect. The history of the Japanese military “comfort women” was hidden for a long time, and it was not until the 1990s that it entered the field of public recognition. Such a transition can be attributed to the external and internal chronopolitics that made possible the testimony of the victims and the discourse of the “comfort women” issue. It shows the peculiar status of the comfort women history as ‘politics of time’. In the same vein, the cinematic representations of the Japanese military “comfort women” can be found in similar chronopolitics. The ‘comfort women’ films have shown the dual time frame of the continuity and discontinuity of the ‘silence’. In Korean film history, the chronotope of the reproduction of “comfort women” can be divided into four phases: 1) the fictional representations of “comfort women” before the 1990s 2) documentaries in the late 1990s as the work of testimony and history writing, 3) melodramatic transformation in the feature films in the 2000s, and 4) the diffusion of media and categories. The purpose of this article is to focus on the first phase and the third phase in which the issue of ‘comfort women’ is represented in the category of popular fiction films. While the “comfort women” representations before 1990 were strictly adhering to the framework of commercial movies and pursued the sexual exploitation of “comfort women” history, the recent films since the 2000s are experimenting with various attempts in the style of popular imagination. Especially, the emergence of ‘comfort women’ feature films in the 2000s, such as Spirit’s Homecoming, I Can Speak, and Herstory, raise various questions as to whether we are “properly” aware of issues and how to remember and present the “cultural memory” of comfort women. Also, focusing on the cinematic representation strategies of the 2000s “comfort women”, this article discusses the popular politics of melodrama, the representation of victims and violence, and the feature of ‘comfort women’ as meta-memory. As a melodramatic imagination and meta-memory for the historical trauma, the “comfort women” drama shows the historical, political, and aesthetic gateways to which the “comfort women” problem must pass. As we have seen in recent fiction films, the issue of “comfort women” goes beyond transnational relations between Korea and Japan; it demands a postcolonial task to dismantle the old colonial structure and explores a transnational project in which women’s movements and human rights movements are linked internationally.

keywords
“Comfort Women” films Chronopolitics Victimhood Historical violence Meta-memory Melodramatic imagination 일본군 ‘위안부’ 영화 크로노폴리틱스 피해자성 역사적 폭력 메타 기억 멜로드라마

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