With just over 50 million residents, South Korea's population is far lower than that of other East Asian countries like China, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
Yet South Korea has still managed to become a global cultural colossus, exporting music, TV shows, movies, and devices that transmit them to the world.
This story is told most colourfully in Euny Hong's 2014 book, The Birth of Korean Cool: How One Nation Is Conquering the World Through Pop Culture.
This week, local residents can sample some of that cool Korean culture, thanks to the Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Vancouver.
That's because this dipomatic office has teamed up with the Vancity Theatre to put on the 2019 Vancouver Korean Film Festival.
It begins on Thursday (August 1) and will continue to the following Thursday (August 8).
It will open with Lee Eon-hee's 2016 film Missing, involving a mother trying to gain sole custody and a child. The mystery deepens when the kid disappears along with a Chinese nanny.
Other films being screened at the festival include Little Forest, which was reviewed by Ken Eisner in this week's Georgia Straight. Little Forest will have five screenings.
Also at the Vancouver Korean Film Festival: The Throne, Merry Christmas Mr. Mo, and Familyhood.
Vancouver cinemaphiles might also be interested in two non-Korean films, which are being screened this week.
You can watch the trailers for these two films below.
Jean-Pierre Melville’s incomparable thriller kicks off the Cinematheque’s tribute to the master of French noir on Thursday (August 1).
Time for Ilhan
Ilhan Omar’s rise to U.S. representative is captured in this doc, screening at the Vancity Theatre on Sunday and Monday (August 4 and 5).