Moon Chae-Ku and his friend Kim Chul try to bring the body of Moon's father back to his native Kwisong Island for burial. Their ferry is intercepted by resentful islanders who will not let ... See full summary »
Moon Chae-Ku and his friend Kim Chul try to bring the body of Moon's father back to his native Kwisong Island for burial. Their ferry is intercepted by resentful islanders who will not let the boat dock, because of the father's political activities in the 1950's, informing on Communist sympathizers. Kim Chul, through flashbacks, recalls people and events from his island childhood. Written by
An outstanding piece of work that marked the beginning of Korean cinema renaissance of the end of the 90s A terrific film that grabs your attention from the very first scene. A first scene that gives meaning to the feeling of the whole film (the sense of wandering, for not being able to return to you hometown due to the still division of the country and specially the inability to forgive). In an absolutely breathtaking way it shows how common people are being thrown into war against their will. How they are forced to take sides even though, as the teacher of the island points out, they don't know which side is which and don't have any idea about politics. This is a film about war that avoids any sort of extreme violent scenes. Still it becomes quite painful to watch as some of the inhabitants of the island start using the new state of affair as an excuse to settle their petty internal conflicts and as an opportunity to seek revenge (as had happened in the Bosnian War). Shocking is the death of the most innocent and harmless people in the village (Ok-nim the retarded girl), a moment that signifies the absolute futility and savagery of the war, a war that does not stop to think who is worth killing, a war that does not make distinctions between innocent and guilty. The sequence ending with her being killed by the Government troops becomes even more ironic since she is the less able to take any sides. Therefore she becomes the first and most undeserved victim of the war. The film is brilliantly constructed. It switches from past to present by using smooth time transitions. These are so subtle that for a while past and present are not longer recognisable. The fact that the same actors are used to play the roles of fathers and their descendent helps to the confusion. The island itself is far from being a paradise as the film shows the complete subjugation of the women, and even women hostility to other women. The main character when a child was told by Ok-nim that a dead person's spirit goes to heaven and becomes a star. Those dead during the war have become the stars of the island
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?