Film Detail

Dance Town

Jeon Kyu-hwan / Korea / 2010 / 95 min / North American Premiere


Over a sweeping classical music soundtrack, scrambling North Koreans at the border attempt to escape to the South. A woman vomits unceremoniously on the side of a highway. And so begins the striking and final installment of Jeon Kyu-hwan’s internationally acclaimed “Town” trilogy. Jung-rim was a professional table tennis player in North Korea, happily married to a husband whose tender affections prompted him to smuggle in gifts from the outside, like expensive skin creams and South Korean adult videos. When a neighbor rats out the couple, Jung-rim must flee to South Korea, alone, where a new and wholly strange life awaits her (as do even stranger, more inquisitive neighbors). After receiving a confusingly harsh then friendly welcome by officials, Jung-rim is declared a South Korean citizen and provided with an apartment and stipend. The intermediary days prove a type of uncanny purgatory as Jung-rim is subjected to the overbearing kindness of aggressive churchgoers, a caseworker who is secretly monitoring her, and an ex-policeman whose curiosity about this North Korean defector proves ultimately devious. The peripheral characters in Jeon’s drama are themselves inescapably confined by the structures of Korean society, as the director dissects everything from the family unit (cue: abusive mother-in-law) to hyper-consumerist youth culture. A strikingly effective and dark political allegory, imbued with complex psychologies and executed with startling sound design and cinematography, DANCE TOWN shares a kindred spirit with the dark political allegories of Lars Von Trier. Christine Kwon


  • Director: Jeon Kyu-hwan
  • Executive Producer: Reuben Lim
  • Producer: Choi Mi-ae
  • Cinematographer: Choi Young-sun
  • Editor: Han Jong-hoon, Park Hae-oh


Sun 03.13 645pm

Wed 03.16 915pm

Thu 03.17 700pm

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