via Koryo Saram – The Unreliable People


Koryo Saram – The Unreliable People is a one hour documentary film co-directed by Y. David Chung and Matt Dibble. The Director of Photography and Editor is Matt Dibble. The Executive Producer is Meredith Jung-En Woo. German Kim of the Kazakh State University is the historical consultant. All the images below are from the film. c 2006 Y. David Chung and Meredith Jung-En Woo.



In 1937, Stalin began a campaign of massive ethnic cleansing and forcibly deported everyone of Korean origin living in the coastal provinces of the Far East Russia near the border of North Korea to the unsettled steppe country of Central Asia 3700 miles away.  This story of 180,000 Koreans who became political pawns during the Great Terror is the central focus of this film.

Koryo Saram (the Soviet Korean phrase for Korean person) tells the harrowing saga of survival in the open steppe country and the sweep of Soviet history through the eyes of these deported Koreans, who were designated by Stalin as an “unreliable people” and enemies of the state. Through recently uncovered archival footage and new interviews, the film follows the deportees’ history of integrating into the Soviet system while working under punishing conditions in Kazakhstan, a country which became a concentration camp of exiled people from throughout the Soviet Union.    <  snip … >


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