The Idealization of Prostitutes: Aesthetics and Discourse of South Korean Hostess Films (1974–1982)

  • Molly Hyo Kim
Part of the Global Cinema book series (GLOBALCINE)


Kim scrutinizes the cinematic conventions of South Korean ‘hostess’ ((hosŭt’esŭ: a euphemism for prostitutes or sex workers in the Korean context of the 1970s and 1980s) films that were engendered and popularized during the period of military regime. The period is marked as a peak of Park Chung Hee’s draconian film censorship which heavily controlled the representations of lower class and poverty. Her chapter draws attention to how South Korean hostess films endorsed and nurtured the cinematic construction of female sexuality negotiating the terms of state censorship.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Molly Hyo Kim
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IllinoisChampaignUSA

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