<Song of the Soul>
What significance does Arirang have to our nation? When the South and North Korea gather in one place, and when the entire nation comes together on festive occasions, without fail we join hands and sing Arirang.
Arirang is a song that contains the sentiments, joys and sorrows of life. It represents the faith of our nation. The origins of Arirang have been debated for the last 80 years, but no single theory has been proven. Nearly 6000 unique Arirang songs have been passed down by Koreans in different parts of the world, undergoing various changes in the process. But Arirang is not a written work of literature, transmitted through ink and paper. It is a song recited from pure memory; the music and literature of our nation’s oral tradition. Therefore, Arirang has been passed down, with various lyrics, throughout the tortuous journey of history, immortalizing scenes of labor and the love of men and women.
What memories then, does Arirang contain? What does it make us remember? And in what direction should we develop it?
Part 1 The Song of the Times
In the first part of <Memories of Arirang>, “The Song of the Times” we try to uncover the roots of Arirang, looking at its origins and course it has followed through time, based on theories developed up to now. As this documentary traces back the songlines of Arirang to places as diverse as India, Japan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, China, the historical evidence gradually fades.
We tell the vivid story of Arirang from a new perspective on the sentiments and the essence of the Korean nation by uncovering memories of Arirang in Asia that have hitherto been denied a place on the center stage of history.
Part 2 The Song of Life
In “Part 2: The Song of Life,” we find out what significance Arirang holds for ethnic Koreans scattered throughout China, Japan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan during Korea’s painful history of Japanese invasion and war. This documentary
sheds a light on efforts to make Arirang a world-class Korean brand, breaking free of the frameworks of history and of the joys and sorrows of everyday life.