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Our School (DVD) (Special Edition) (Korea Version) DVD Region 3

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Our School (DVD) (Special Edition) (Korea Version)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10 (2)

YesAsia Editorial Description

After the liberation of Korea in 1945, the first generation of Koreans residing in Japan refurbished an old factory and founded "Our School" (a.k.a. Joseon School) in hopes of preserving their culture and heritage in a foreign land. Our School offers an up-close and personal look at the everyday lives of the young students of Our School, now in its third generation. Directed by Kim Myung Joon who spent 3 years and 5 months documenting the kids firsthand, Our School brings closure to the story left unfinished by Hanareul Weehye, a 2003 documentary filmed by Kim's late wife, renowned documentary filmmaker Cho Eun Ryung. Voted the best Korean independent film of 2007 and selected as one of the top five movies of the year by numerous critics, Our School sold over 70,000 tickets in Korea - unprecedented box office for a documentary. The film is filled with genuine moments of laughter and tears, plus a shocking historical fact that points to the North Korean government as the school's main sponsor. Our School awakens awareness in history and offers a glimmer of hope through the stories of its young heroes.

Life in Hokkaido, Japan is pretty normal for the young Korean students attending Our School. Unfortunately, over the last few decades, with the rise of right-wing influence in the Japanese government, Korean ethnic-based schools have experienced a significant plunge in numbers, dropping from 540 to 80. Nevertheless, keeping their spirits high and their cultural identities intact, the new generation of Korean youngsters in Japan study and play hard, just like kids anywhere else in the world.

This edition comes with the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary by Director Kim Myung Joon & Fan Club Organizer Kim Sun Min
  • Arts Contest Performance by Our School Kids
    - Dance Club Kids' Preparation for the Contest
    - Music Club Kids
    - Performance by Hokkaido Joseon Students: Part 1
    - Performance by Hokkaido Joseon Students: Part 2
  • Stories Untold
    - Boys Club Camping
    - On Snowy Days
    - Junior Football Tournament
    - Mothers of Joseon
    - Fathers' Festival
  • Our School Premiere
    - People Involved in Our School
    - Our School Premiere in Japan
    - Celebrating Box Office Success
    - Stage Appearance by Director Kim Myung Joon
  • © 2009-2022 Ltd. All rights reserved. This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

    Technical Information

    Product Title: Our School (DVD) (Special Edition) (Korea Version) 朝鮮學校 (DVD) (特別版) (韓國版) 朝鲜学校 (DVD) (特别版) (韩国版) ウリハッキョ 우리 학교 (DVD) (Special Edition) (일반판) (한국판)
    Artist Name(s): Kim Myung Joon | Cho Eun Ryung 金明俊 | 趙恩聆 金明俊 | 赵恩聆 キム・ミョンジュン | Cho Eun Ryung 김명준 | 조은령
    Release Date: 2009-01-16
    Language: Korean
    Subtitles: English, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, French
    Place of Origin: South Korea
    Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
    Disc Format(s): DVD
    Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
    Publisher: Ein's M&M CO., LTD
    Other Information: 2 Disc
    Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
    YesAsia Catalog No.: 1014032695

    Product Information

    우리 학교

    * Screen Format : Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1, NTSC
    * Sound Mix : Dolby Digital 2.0
    * Extras :
    *본편 음성 해설: 감독 김명준, 팬 카페 운영자 김선민

    *예술경연: 우리학교 아이들의 놀라운 예술경연 무대
    -예술경연을 준비하는 무용부 소조
    -취주악부와 예술경연에 참가하는 아이들
    -혹가이도 조선학생들의 예술경연 무대2 (중급부 무용부 중무, 취주악부 합주)
    -혹가이도 조선학생들의 예술경연 무대1 (독무, 독주)
    -제37차 재일 조선학생 중앙 예술경연대회 예술 작품 발표회

    *못 다 전한 이야기: 본편에 수록되지 못한 다양한 이야기들
    -즐거운 소년단 야영
    -눈 오는 하교 길 (가끔 있는 단축수업)
    -우유 먹는데도 키가 크지 않는다!! (꼬마 축구 시합)
    -조선의 어머니들 (혹가이도 조고 21기생들의 어머니들)
    -미래 페스티발 (호빵맨이 된 재훈이와 아버지들의 공연)
    -평양여관 4층 커피점 접대원의 손풍금 연주
    -작곡가 윤영란이 '우리를 보시라'를 혹가이도 우리학교에 보급하다
    -주제가 '우리를 보시라'의 가수 김희선 양의 라이브

    *함께하는 우리학교: 우리학교 상영회, 5만 관객 돌파 이벤트 파티, 관객과의 대화
    -우리학교'와 함께 했던 사람들 (개봉관과 공동체상영장에서 만난 사람들)
    -'우리학교' 일본자주상영회
    -관객동원 5만 돌파 이벤트 파티
    -김영준 감독 무대인사 관객과의 대화

    * Director : 김명준

    홋가이도 조선학교 아이들의 희망 다큐 일본땅 조선 아이들의 용감한 등교가 시작된다! 해방 직후 재일 조선인 1세들은 일본땅에서 살아갈 후손들을 위해 자비로 책상과 의자를 사들여 버려진 공장에 터를 잡아 ‘조선학교’ = ‘우리학교’를 세운다. 처음 540여 개가 넘던 학교는 일본 우익세력의 탄압 속에 이제 80여 개의 학교만이 남게 되었다. 김명준 감독은 ‘혹가이도 조선초중고급학교’의 교원, 학생들과 3년 5개월이라는 시간을 동고동락하며 그들의 일상을 애정 어린 시선으로 카메라에 담아낸다.

    ‘우리학교’의 학생들은 여느 10대들과 다름없이 명랑하고 밝다. 일본이라는 타국 땅에서 조선인이라는 이방인으로 살아가지만 ‘우리학교’라는 공동체를 통해 자신의 정체성성을 확인하며 동포사회의 구성원들에게 당당하게 살아갈 수 있는 용기를 주기 위해 공부하고 운동한다. 북에 대한 적대감이 반영된 일본 우익세력의 무작위적 협박과 이로 인한 신변의 위협을 겪으면서도 ‘우리학교’의 학생과 학부모, 선생님들은 ‘조선사람은 조선학교에 다녀야 한다’는 그 평범한 진실을 어렵게 실천하며 살아가고 있는 것이다.
    Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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    YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

    Professional Review of "Our School (DVD) (Special Edition) (Korea Version)"

    February 27, 2008

    This professional review refers to Our School (DVD) (Special Edition) (First Press Limited Edition) (Korea Version)
    Our School sees documentary film maker Kim Myung Joon taking on a potentially fascinating and unique subject in deciding to explore and follow the lives of students and staff at a school set up in Japan by Korean immigrants in 1945 to protect their own culture, language and sense of identity. The film itself has an interesting history, with Kim building upon the work of his late wife, the acclaimed Jo Eun Ryeong and her own 2003 documentary Hanareul Weehye. Documentary films have been proving more and more popular in Korea of late, and Our School was certainly a great success both commercially and critically, managing a highly impressive 70,000 box office admissions and being voted Best Korean Independent film of 2007.

    The documentary basically catalogues the three and a half years spent by Kim at the school, which is in snowy Hokkaido, Northern Japan. During this time he accompanies the pupils and teachers through their daily classes, meetings, sporting events and concerts, as well as conducting a series of interviews and following them on a variety of trips. The most interesting of these comes with a school visit to North Korea, and whilst the director himself was not allowed to travel with them, one of the pupils shot some fascinating footage of life in the secretive country.

    As a documentary, Our School basically seems to have two aims, firstly to depict life at the school and the particular challenges faced by the students, and secondly to explore themes of Korean nationality and identity. These to an extent divide the film into two parts, of which the latter is arguably the more interesting and more successfully tackled. This is mainly due to the fact that although a documentary, the film is an openly subjective piece of work, with Kim gradually getting to know the students and indeed becoming part of their lives both inside and outside of the classroom. Whilst this in itself is by no means a criticism, and indeed lends the film an effectively personal and honest aspect, it does to an extent mean that there are times during the first half when it would have benefited from a little more judicious editing - for example during basketball and football games which each run on for more than five minutes. Of course, this is not to suggest that this part of the film is dull, as it still features a wealth of interesting scenes. However, while it arguably helps Kim to present an accurate picture of life for the students and to capture a sense of their competitiveness, it does detract from the overall focus and slows the pace down, a serious consideration when taken into account that the film runs for over two hours.

    The latter section of the film dealing with identity works somewhat better as the school offers a truly unique perspective on the issue, having been founded before the North-South Korean divide was established, with many of the students having the old general "Chosun" nationality, and due to the fact that it is sponsored in part by the North Korean government. This drive for identity is seen through the school's efforts to make the students aware of their nationality despite being surrounded by foreign culture, insisting that they wear traditional costumes (something which poses a real problem for the unfortunate female students given the freezing temperatures), speak only in Korean while on the campus and learn traditional songs and dances. Making things even more difficult is the discrimination, distrust and often-outright hostility the school faces from the Japanese, particularly during the last few years with the resurgence of right wing interests in the government, which has seen them sadly struggle to be allowed to compete in sporting events and to get funding. Though the trip to North Korea comes later on in the film, it is arguably its centrepiece and is worth the price of admission alone, giving a rare peek at the country, which is very much at odds with its demonised image. Especially after this visit, the students themselves make a number of fascinating observations as to their feelings on their home countries, which they tellingly refer to as motherland and fatherland.

    Ultimately however, it is the children themselves who are the real stars of the show and whose smiling faces and whose compelling stories lift Our School from being a documentary likely only to appeal to Korean audiences to a story which should be enjoyed by even the most casual of viewers. Although it could perhaps have been a little shorter, it still manages to engage throughout and Kim certainly provides an insightful and thought-provoking exploration of such an intriguing subject.

    by James Mudge -

    This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

    Customer Review of "Our School (DVD) (Special Edition) (Korea Version)"

    Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10 (2)

    See all my reviews

    June 25, 2010

    1 people found this review helpful

    Our School Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
    A very crucial documentary film to see this is both rewarding and illuminating. Concerning Korean school students (and immigrants) in Hokkadio, Japan who in their learning years begin to understand their own important historical heritage by enthusiastic and pioneering tutors. For one, this film not only views Korean kids understanding about their own native language and culture, a personal loss that would have been sadly absorbed into the Japanese idiom if these kids had naturally blended in, but also about all learning to all people stepping out of patriotic limitations and appreciating each other’s cultural lives. We are born ‘as we are’, after all!

    Relating to the winter of 2004 fresh Korean students start new terms, the winter snow reflecting their slogging drudgery and trying to persevere and appreciate their own Joseon routes, by learning fully the Korean language the Joseon history and to find better integration, acceptance and changes from the host country. At this time Korean school children in Japan found it hard to be fully accepted, political and social prejudices were felt and apathy of want in the school system bought the high student numbers down to an all time low. “Our School” in a nutshell is a fly-on-the-wall account of how young people learn to understand the reasons their parents strived to open Korean schools in Japan (a school refurbished from an old factory), for their kids cultural benefits and basic pride in native commonwealth. Mostly the kids were happy with Japanese life, loving modern trends and initially found little importance in wishing to speak/write Korean, let alone academic programs of education. But these Korean students do begin to take pride in their Korean heritage and adopt an enthusiastic wont to pay back their parent’s struggles after the liberation years and who only wished their children to integrate well in a new life.

    “Our School” is a very human film – political with painful pasts, yes, but totally human. It’s honest emotional tears, like when the Korean boys train, play and lose at a school soccer match with a local Japanese school team. Crucially the Korean boys wished only to win so they could show appreciative pride and honour towards their caring parents. But by losing their crestfallen emotions are deeply felt. Although experiencing how to lose is beneficial, expressing intense emotion as these boys do is understandable. I know, I used to cry losing at Subbuteo with a school friend.
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    June 25, 2010

    1 people found this review helpful

    Your School Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
    The other major aspect of this film is when the students’ visit North Korea (the sponsors of their school) and of how it changes the student’s perceptions about themselves immensely. They discover common love from a common people and the students become so cut up emotionally, that it was very hard for them to leave their brief stay in North Korea. Importantly, people all around the world wish in life for love, stability, affection and for everyone to be open, honest and caring. This story isn’t only about the rough plights of Korean school kids, but them as representatives of any nation’s people who can at times feel isolated, rejected and troubled. All people get these emotions, for more or less reasons. Its all variations of the dignities of education and labour and all try their righteous duties correctly the way they see it. These Korean students were right when they saw love in the North Korean people, ironically and mystifyingly austerity brings great love inside people’s simple and ethical hearts.

    But “My School” should be seen as acceptance in a foreign land. Young Koreans in Japan who strive to call out and see the locals accept them as they should accept others - hug, care, love, say hello, think of them as brother and sister and become precious in each other’s sight. Naturally opposing the cynicism of fear, anger, mistrust, misjudgement and ignorance. These children ‘represent’ the people of North Korea, but also the confused young Japanese and the confused European from their own perspectives in the shattered fragments of a striving world that judges accordingly. Where and who we are are the best we can be, and to understand how the foreign or alien share the same Lifeboat the better we share our compassion and care. These Korean students saw (like children) the N Koreans as beautiful people as too are the Japanese people and underneath cultures, histories, ethics and differences belie the crucial ever changing fragile human heart - the quest to never be alone, to be together and celebrate each other’s souls and find rewards in our own souls by that love. That’s why tears were shed by these Korean student’s at the end of their school days. The parting of crucial togetherness and love that everyone should experience and know such true feelings. When concerns for one another ‘intensifies’ people become much better. This edition includes an additional extras DVD which is also English subtitled.
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