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There are breakpoints in the history, the result of a single event may change the whole course... In 1909, an assassination attempt of a Japanese governor fails - the assassin was shot by a soldier. Now, in 2009, Korea is just another state of the Japan Empire and Seoul has become a major city. A Korean resistance group called Hureisenjin is formed to fight for liberty and independence. Two cops, a Japanese and a Korean (who denies his heritage) are investigating the actions of this "terrorist" group. And their work lead them to an artifact of the ancient Korean religion of "Sun and Moon". Written by
2009: Lost Memories (2002) was a co-production between Korea and Japan, coinciding with the 2002 FIFA World Cup, held jointly in Japan and South Korea. See more »
After the intruder shoots Sakamoto's uncle and the fight ensues, Sakamoto grabs the gun and shoots one final shot as the intruder jumps out the window. When he fires, we hear a regular gunshot, even though that gun had a silencer. See more »
Slam-bang action thriller one of the best yet from Korea
2009 LOST MEMORIES (2002): Fantastic action thriller set in an deliberately-created alternate future in which Korea is just another Japanese state, and Koreans have largely lost their identity. A Korean-blooded, Japanese-named cop slowly realizes that the terrorists he's paid to wipe out are actually Korean freedom-fighters trying to restore the timeline to its proper state.
This film gets slagged nearly everywhere, so I defend it whenever possible. It's a big, loud, arguably overblown "blockbuster" that deals with a very sensitive subject: Korean identity. People have, I believe, unfairly examined and criticized this film on two fronts:
one, it's inherent patriotism, which is an element of Korean cinema that seems to alienate so many non-Korean viewers and yet is a fundamental part of the culture, probably more so than in any other Asian country (let alone much of the world). And two, the historical events behind its "science fiction," which nearly everybody I've read gets wrong. The key plot device of the film is NOT simply that Japan won World War II, but that the legendary Korean patriot Ahn Chung-gun FAILED in his assassination of Japanese foreign minister Ito Hirobumi in China in 1909 (thus, sort of, the point of the title being 100 years later). This single event is extremely important to the Korean culture and not only is their a gigantic memorial named after Ahn, but also a form of Tae Kwon Do. Looking these two names up on the internet greatly aids in understanding the deeper messages this film offers. I give it a 9.
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