K-pop, Korean entertainment/culture, Korean fans/netizens [2014~]

Mark Tetto's column on Korea's 'senior content' aside from K-Pop and K-dramas

Mark Tetto

JTBC 'Abnormal Summit' panelist

Column: [Abnormal Eyes of Mark Tetto] Korea's 'senior content' which is as precious as K-Pop and K-dramas

Internationally, Korea is highly recognized for its cultural contents. It became known globally by exporting K-Pop and dramas. Korea is less known as a country and it's also at a unique spot with a new genre 'senior content'. Last month, I attended Seoul Senior Film Festival and learned that Korea was the leader of this particular genre. Seoul Senior Film Festival shows two types of films. One is about the lives and problems of seniors. Another one is a film created and directed by seniors themselves. This interesting film festival was celebrating its 9th year. The fact that this interesting content has been produced for 9 years is very surprising.

Since this film festival, I started to view Korea's cultural contents I've experienced differently. During this process, I found a very interesting fact. A lot of Korea's contents that I've liked were associated with seniors. My most favorite film 'I Love You' is about the solitude, love, and joy of a senior couple. It's one of the few films that never fail to make me cry. A film 'Poetry' directed by a director Lee Chang Dong is a unique story on a senior woman's struggles and finding a new love for poetry. This film portrays that a life itself is a beautiful poem. 'Poetry' won an award at Cannes Film Festival and gained international attention.

Another interesting fact is that a lot of Korea's contents that gained the highest reputation internationally are also related to seniors. 'My Love, Don't Cross That River' is one of the rare Korean films that are displayed visibly as recommended movies on Apple TV. A novel 'Please Look After Mom' is still a work that is the most appreciated and praised internationally.

Without knowing it, Korea's 'senior content' is quietly leading on the global stage. While K-Pop and K-dramas show the beauty of the youth, the senior content is based on the unique Confucian culture and makes us reflect on our lives. It means that Korea is voicing a unique opinion on social issues related to seniors on the global stage. It must be the reason why the world finds Korea's senior content charming and great. Like K-Pop and K-dramas, senior content is also a cultural genre that Korea should be proud of. It has huge potentials to become a cultural legacy that will represent Korea. We must admit this openly and work on expanding it.

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