4.5 min excerpt from 60 min film.
In 1937, Josef Stalin began a campaign of massive ethnic cleansing, forcibly deporting everyone of Korean origin in Far East Russia to the steppe country of Central Asia, 3700 miles away. Y. David Chung and Matt Dibble’s documentary charts the extraordinary untold history of the Koryo Saram (the Soviet Korean phrase for Korean person), dubbed “The Unreliable People” by Stalin. Through never-before-seen historical footage and emotional personal accounts from the original Koryo Saram, a lost history is pieced together, one that survived Stalin’s mandate to eradicate the Korean language and tradition. In Kazakh, Korean and Russian, the film asks questions that all immigrants can relate to: how to hold onto one’s traditions, and how to save one’s culture from being overwhelmed.
In this scene, deportation survivors Dekabrina Kim, Vladminir Tyan, Mikhail Kim and Sergei Yun describe their experiences in 1937.
Co-directed by Y. David Chung and Matt Dibble
Executive Producer Meredith Jung En Woo
Historical Consultant German Kim
Winner of the National Film Board of Canada’s Best Documentary Award - 2007 Toronto Reel Asian
Official Selection - Sao Paolo International Film Festival
Official Selection - San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival
David Chung is a faculty member at A&D.