Arirang (lost Korean silent film; 1926)

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Original Arirang poster.png

The original poster for the film.

Status: Lost

Arirang (아리랑) is a 1926 Korean film. This film was directed by Na Un-gyu who also starred in the lead role.[1] Its title refers to a traditional Korean song of the same name.


This film is about Yeong-jin, a young man who has become mentally ill after being imprisoned and tortured by the Japanese police, because he protested against their occupation of Korea. He comes back to his family home to live with his father and sister. Yeong-hui, his sister, is raped by O Gi-ho, a pro-Japanese collaborator. Yeong-jin suffers from hallucinations and in blind fury kills O Gi-ho with a sickle. He comes back to his senses, but is taken away by the Japanese police.[2]


The film is known, like many other silent Korean films, to likely be lost permanently in the destruction of the Korean War.

Produced during Japan's invasion of Korea, Arirang was the first Korean feature film,[3] starting the golden age of Korean films.[4]

In 2005, there was a rumor that the film could be found in a recently deceased Japanese film collector's collection, but no further news was heard of these developments.[5]

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