April 19: Film Festival, Partnership Based on Late Professor’s Work


Before filmmaker Humphrey Leynse came to work at Washington State University in 1970, he made the movie of his dreams. The subject was a remote island 180 miles east of the Korean mainland in the Sea of Japan: Ulleung-Do.

“Out There, A Lone Island” and more than 50 other documentaries he filmed of Asian peoples, cultures and countries in the 1950s-60s are part of a collection in WSU’s Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections (MASC).

Donated in 1979 by his wife, Judith, the collection is the center of a new collaboration between the university and South Korea’s Dokdo Museum, as well as an inaugural film festival planned at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 19, in WSU’s Goertzen Hall, Room 21.

As beautiful as Ulleung-Do was to Leynse when he saw it for the first time, the tenuousness of life there fueled his imagination more.

“The natural beauty is what impresses the visitor so profoundly, but to those who live there – some 20,000 Korean fishermen and their families – it is how to stay alive on this beautiful rock,” he wrote in an article in The Korea Times in 1964.

“To me, the steep mountain peaks and deep valleys remind me of Switzerland, its blue waters of a Pacific island and the rock formations of a wild dream,” he wrote. “To the fishermen, it is a place of utter isolation, fogbound and windswept, where one can reap a killing when the fish are running right – or slowly starve to death without anyone knowing about it.”

For the full article, see https://news.wsu.edu/2015/04/17/april-19-film-fest-partnership-based-on-….