A portrait film about Isang Yun
by Barrie Gavin (1996)
Isang Yun 100: Film
He lived for over quarter of a century on the outermost fringes of West Berlin from where his influence as a composer, musician, but also political individual, spread. Isang Yun, born on 17 September 1917 in South Korea where he also grew up and was educated, left for Paris in the mid-1950s and soon afterwards joined the Musikhochschule in Berlin. The city had already become home to Isang Yun when the Korean secret service abducted and deported him back to Seoul as an alleged traitor, where he was imprisoned for two years under terrible conditions. Through the intervention of prominent composers, colleagues and the German Federal government, Yun was finally released and returned to Berlin. In spite of the inhumanity he endured, Isang Yun went on to create a major work of music. Shortly after Yun's death in 1995, a co-production between the Korean Broadcasting System and the then Sender Freies Berlin produced a 60-minute documentary about his life and work in different musical cultures and ways of thinking.