On April 8, Park Nam Ok, Korea’s first female movie director, passed away at the age of 94. The director passed away from natural causes at her home in Los Angeles, California.

Park Nam Ok first entered the spotlight in 1955 with her black and white film, “The Widow,” and became the first ever female movie director in Korea. Her film depicted the struggles and issues that surrounded widowed women during the war, which was controversial during her time.

The struggles Par Nam Ok faced as the female pioneer in the male-dominated film industry is quite evident when examining her photos. Park Nam Ok can be seen juggling her directing while being a full time mother.  She is seen with her infant child strapped to her back on the set of her movie.  She has become a key figuring in paving the path for women in the film industry.

In her honor, the Women In Film Association of Korea produced the documentary, “Beautiful Life” in 2001 to share her story to the world. During an interview featured in the documentary, Park Nam Ok said, “I suffered tremendously when I was filming “The Widow,” but looking back at that time, I would give anything to re-live those days.”

We offer our sincerest condolences to Park Nam Ok’s family.

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