Focus Related Commentary

The Dupes
Date & Venue 5.19. (Sun) | 13:00 | Ae Kwan Theater 5
Pre-Commentary LEE Jong-chan

※Focus related commentary will take place for approximately 20 minutes from the start of the screening.

After the establishment of Israel in 1948, three Palestinian male refugees who experienced war and deportation attempt to smuggle themselves into Kuwait in hopes that they can find employment that will save them from the reality of poverty and despair. Under the hot sun of the desert, they employ a water tank driver and try to secretly cross the border. This is a film version adapted from Palestinian Author Ghassan Kanafani’s novel “Men in the Sun” (1963). Kanafani, who was born in Acre in the northern part of Palestine in 1936, served as the authorized representative of the Palestinian liberation front and also worked as the publisher and chief editor of Al Hadaf, the organization newsletter. After revealing things through various literature genres like novels and plays, he passed away in 1972 due to a mysterious car explosion.
Zainichi Korean Suh Kyung-sik confessed that as soon as he read this novel by Kanafani in the late 1970s, he immediately thought of his uncle. His uncle was also smuggled in just like the Palestinian refugees. After Japan lost the war, the passage between Joseon and Japan, which hadn’t been a problem before, was closed, and his uncle hid in the engine room of a small boat before getting stowed away to Japan. He hid inside a drum of oil up to his neck, just in case. Suh Kyung-sik looks back on those times like this: After reading Kanafani’s “Men in the Sun,” secret memories from my childhood were suddenly evoked. A Palestinian refugee who had to hide in the tank of a tank lorry and my uncle who had to hide in the engine room of a boat, to cross the border and survive. The existence of the uncle is the main coordinate axis that makes me question, “Who am I?” (Suh Kyung-sik, “What Men in the Sun Asks Us: Who Are We?“, From the Prison of Language, trans. Kwon Hyuk-tae, Dolbegae, 2011) (LEE Jong-chan)

Pre-Commentary LEE Jong-chan

(Critical) essayist. He studied literary criticism and cultural theory at the Department of English in graduate school and was active in the critical cultural research group at the Center for Cultural Society. He feels drawn to literature triggered by the limitary reason and the social ontology of art. His books include “The Community of Disaster and Screaming (2014),” “Art in the Era of Microtopia (2017),” and “The Death of Diaspora (2024).”