Hot Pink Section
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50LGBT: 2017 Seoul Pride Film Festival collaborates with the British Council to bring the UK Focus Programme
Together with the British Council, we have devoted a special section of our programme to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK – a landmark moment for human rights and a theme that resonates in Korea.
The 50LGBT strand includes Against the Law, a powerful new BBC factual drama about Peter Wildeblood, a gay journalist whose conviction in 1954 led to an inquiry resulting in the Wolfenden Report, to which Wildeblood gave evidence, and which in 1957 recommended the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK. We also screen classic British films from the last 50 years.
50 years ago, on 5 July 1967, the British parliament passed a law that partially decriminalised male homosexuality in England and Wales (the law didn’t change in Scotland until 1981, and in Northern Ireland until 1982). Since King Henry VIII passed a law in 1533 making male homosexuality punishable by death, criminalisation had destroyed the social lives of many. The great literary figure Oscar Wilde, as well as the decipherer of the Nazi’s Enigma Code, Alan Turing, were amongst many hundreds of gay men imprisoned for their sexuality. Legislation to allow same-sex marriage was passed in 2014, but is still not recognised in Northern Ireland, and the remnants of unjust laws can be seen in former British colonies, such as India or Singapore. Korea’s own military criminal law 6 of article 92 is a product of military laws modeled after the US military legal system of the time, which was itself influenced by the British equivalent.
Whilst Britain has legalised homosexuality, unjust law lives on in Korea, continuing to oppress gays, lesbians and bisexuals. As an explicit protest against this, the Seoul Pride Film Festival has selected “termination of the military’s ferreting out of gays and the repeal of military criminal law 6 of article 92” as its main theme of the year.
On May 24 of 2016, the General Military Court of the ROK Army found Captain “A” guilty on the grounds of his breaching of military criminal law 6 of article 92, or the “homosexuality criminalization law”. The army is particularly under fire for carrying out the commands of former Army Chief of Staff Jungyu Jang through illegal investigation methods such as pursuing secret investigations, forcefully inducing confessions and spreading misinformation in order to prove same-sex relations between Captain “A” and other servicemen.
As part of the British Council’s UK/Korea 2017–2018 season - and marking the 50th anniversary of a major landmark in human rights – the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales - Seoul Pride Film Festival, the British Council, and BFI Flare have collaborated to organize the programme of the Hot Pink Section. We will be screening Against the Law (directed by Fergus O’Brien), a monumental docudrama about journalist Peter Wildeblood, who was one of the very few openly gay men in Britain during the early 1950s. Peter Wildeblood brought social awareness to the unjustness of the Homosexual Act. Interviews are interwoven with dramatic reenactment scenes to convey what life was like for gay men in Britain at the time.
We are also premiering Flare Films: UK LGBT Shorts, a programme of nine shorts, including films from the online LGBT film project, fiveFilms4freedom, a collaboration between the British Council and BFI Flare, the London LGBT Flim Festival.
The Hot Pink Section also presents 50LGBT, a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, featuring classics of British queer cinema: Orlando (directed by Sally Potter), Edward II (directed by Derek Jarman), My Beautiful Laundrette (directed by Stephen Frears), Sunday Bloody Sunday (directed by John Schlesinger) and Love is the Devil: Study for Portrait of Francis Bacon (directed by John Maybury).
We are pleased to be joined by our special guest speaker, Brian Robinson, a programmer of BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival since 2000.He was one of the founding members of the queer magazine Square Peg (1982–1991) and writes about queer cinema for Sight & Sound, Capital Gay, and The Guardian.
We hope you appreciate the Hot Pink section, UK Focus programme, brought to you through our partnership with the British Council, which strives to shift awareness by breaking social prejudices against sexual minorities.
○ Edward II
○ My Beautiful Laundrette
○ Sunday, Bloody Sunday
○ Against the Law
○ Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon
○ We Love Moses
○ I Am a Woman
○ Take Your Partners
○ Where We Are Now