DMZ International Documentary Film Festival: Film, Peace, and the Cold War Industry

Catherine Russell


Between North and South Korea lies a four kilometer-wide strip of land known as the DMZ or “Demilitarized Zone” running 250 kilometers across the peninsula. Contrary to its name, the DMZ is one of the most heavily militarized borders in the world. Rare species of wildlife survive in this swath of wilderness, one of the most “undeveloped” areas in East Asia, but even the animals are prey to the random detonations of landmines in the night. What better place for a film festival? In fact the DMZ Documentary Festival is located in Paju City, a suburb of Seoul, about 20 km from the southern border of the DMZ. Inaugurated in 2008, the festival is committed to ideals of peace, “co-existence,” and communication, as well as the promotion of Asian documentaries.

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