Korean American Film Festival New York 2013 Commemorates The Korean War Armistice With A Vivid And Illuminating Program

The Korean American Film Festival New York (KAFFNY) always includes an impressively eclectic collection of features and shorts, and this year's 7th edition is no exception. However, for the first time, the festival is organized around one specific subject: the Korean War and its impact on Koreans both in Korea and the U.S.  

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the armistice between North and South Korea, which never officially ended the war but only established a cease-fire. With North Korea in the news very often these days, the features and shorts playing KAFFNY this year provide valuable background in understanding the origins and the lasting effects of this conflict. One need not imagine some alternate history in which the Cold War never ended; one only has to visit the heavily armed DMZ between the Koreas at the 38th parallel to find a place where this ideological conflict remains alive and well. The pain of separated families, the casualties of war, the influence of the war on the Korean diaspora: these subjects and many more are covered in the KAFFNY fest films offered this year, happening at Village East Cinemas from October 24 through 26.

In keeping with KAFFNY's usual diverse slate, there will also be short films outside the Korean War theme, as well as a screening of Shin Su-won's acclaimed festival film Pluto. But the Korean War themed features and shorts are this year's main focus, and below are my recommendations for particularly noteworthy films. For more information on these and other films in the festival, visit KAFFNY's website.