Produced by the National Gugak Center and Kirin Productions
Directed by Tae-yong Kim
Music by Jun-suk Bang
Film at Lincoln Center, the New York Asian Film Foundation, and the Korean Cultural Center New York are excited to present Kokdu: A Story of Guardian Angels, a once-in-a-lifetime film and concert experience marrying cinema with live traditional Korean music (gugak).
The event features live accompaniment performed by a 20-member ensemble from the National Gugak Center (NGC), the representative headquarters of Korean traditional performing arts, who will be playing the score for the first time in the US.
Melding fantasy and reality, Kokdu weaves between cinematic storytelling and an impressively staged theatrical piece as it explores Korean myths and traditions while dealing deftly with dark themes of death and mourning, with a poignant and ultimately uplifting touch. As a spectacle, not only does Kokdu brim with music and dance, it makes the challenging topic of our mortality accessible to audiences of all ages.
Director Tae-yong Kim of the critically acclaimed Late Autumn (2011), Music Director Jun-Seok Bang of Korean box-office hits such as Along with the Gods (2017, 2018), and the National Gugak Center have joined forces to bridge art forms and build a unique, heartwarming story of loss and redemption, steeped in local Korean folklore but with a universal appeal.
Kokdu premiered to acclaim at the 2018 Busan International Film Festival and was NGC’s “best-selling show” of 2017 and 2018. Recently, Kokdu was presented at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival as a part of the Generation KPlus lineup.
Both a fairy tale and a phantasmagoria, the film follows two children, Su-min and her younger brother Dong-min, who accidentally fall in the realm of the dead after losing their grandmother’s shoes in a thoughtless, Faustian deal. As the children search the netherworld to retrieve the shoes, they encounter a mischievous band of living kokdu, the wooden figurines that guide the souls of the dead to the afterlife.
For more information, please visit https://www.koreanculture.org/performing-arts/2019/5/15/film-at-lincoln-center-new-york-asian-film-festival-and-the-korean-cultural-center-new-york-present-kokdu-a-story-of-guardian-angels