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Seoul Protest Routs Viewers of U.S. Film : Movie Makers Attack Free Market for American-Made Pictures

Reuters

Dozens of South Korean movie makers stormed into a Seoul theater showing the Hollywood hit “Fatal Attraction” today and daubed the screen with slogans attacking the free distribution of American films.

Witnesses said 62 directors and producers forced their way into the theater, wrote “Drive Out Yankee Movies” and other hostile slogans in red paint on the screen and walls, and forced out about 30 members of the audience.

The protesters then staged a brief sit-in before being detained by police. They were among about 200 film makers who staged street campaigns for the fifth consecutive day urging a boycott of the Oscar-winning film.

Earlier this year the government agreed to let a U.S. company directly distribute American films in South Korea instead of having to go through a local company.

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“Fatal Attraction” is the first film to be distributed directly here by United International Pictures.

South Korean film makers, who normally distribute their own productions, said that the local industry is still in its infancy and that free distribution of popular American films would destroy it.

The Motion Picture Export Assn. of America has rejected charges that U.S. film companies are trying to drive local companies into bankruptcy.

Industry officials put the size of South Korea’s movie film market at $110 million a year.

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The Chosun Ilbo newspaper said in an editorial that if the big Hollywood distributors move into South Korea with their wealth and power, “there will be almost no way for low-capital Korean movies to survive.”


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