Cornell University

This is a past event. Its details are archived for historical purposes.

The contact information may no longer be valid.

Please visit our current events listings to look for similar events by title, location, or venue.

Host Nation film screening

Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at 7:00pm

Cornell Cinema, 104 Willard Straight Hall, Ithaca NY, 14853

Host Nation by Ko-woon Lee (2016, 116 minutes)

“Do you want to work in Korea?” Thus begins twenty-six-year-old Filipina woman Maria’s two-year journey into the sex industry in South Korea, which mainly caters to American soldiers stationed there. 

Host Nation chronicles Maria’s hopes, dreams, and crucial reality for two years to lay bare the legalized system of sex trafficking between South Korea and the Philippines. Maria had long dreamed about escaping from her slum neighborhood in Davao, Philippines, and getting a job abroad and when she was introduced to a talent manager, Madam Yolie, it seemed her dream was about to come true.

Yolie, who operates a training center and a temporary boarding house in Manila for women, has witnessed the ups and downs of the sex industries of neighboring Asian countries and sees the openings in the industry as job opportunities for poor Filipino women. 

The documentary follows Maria’s pathway into the South Korean sex industry via the E-6 visa, the so-called “entertainers’ visa,” slowly revealing the vast network of cross-border profit makers who enable sex trafficking, including a talent scout, a manager in Manila, a Korean broker, a Korean club owner and even Korean government agencies.

Part of the series Power of Seeing 보는 이의 권력 hosted by the East Asia Program at the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies.

Film website:

In Korean, Tagalog and English with English subtitles.

Generously cosponsored by the Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies and the Cornell Society for the Humanities.

Google Calendar iCal Outlook
Event Type



Department of Theatre, Film and Dance, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, Asian Studies, Society for the Humanities, East Asia Program, Southeast Asia Program

University Themes



Reppy Institute, East Asia program, pma, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, asianstudiescal, cosochum



Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Soyi Kim

Dept. Web Site

Disability Access Information

Please contact Cornell Cinema for assistance in advance

Registration Status

not required and free but please request tickets via the registration tab above

Open To


Recent Activity

You're not going yet!

This event requires registration.