I was pleasantly surprised about this wonderfully crafted movie. It guides the viewer to "the other side" of the korean war, to the communist side. Western viewers like me, with an European background west of the iron curtain, know almost nothing about. When this side was portrait in Hollywood or early korean war movies, it was dehumanized. Now this movie shows an entirely new angle, where ordinary citizens get drawn to the communist site for all kind of different reasons, and from all walks of life. From the practical decission to the ideological one, from the workrelated one to the adventures one, for love or for revenge. All this is seen from the biographical view of a journalist who lived, and suffered through this experience. By watching this movie you feel the approach of emotional pain, by knowing that some of the wonderful human bonds created, will end with tragedy. The war movie action fan will also find this movie packed with realistic and well researched combat scenes. I was truly impressed about every aspect in this movie. Now this is the story: The American forces under McArthur land in Inchon, the communist front in southern Korea crumbles. Civil proffessionals are being ordered by the communist leaders, to join the partisans in the mountains. Whole bands of partisans have very little experience, when they meet the regular korean army in pitched battles. Mostly being defeated, they suffer under unbearable conditions. When the Chinese army enters the war, new hope and optimism arrives, giving new live to the battered spirits. Ordinary communist leaders committing reasonable decissions among some atrocities. It paints a very threedimensional picture about their movement, without a final judgement. That is very impressive. For a moviemaker, this takes guts to do. No sour note on morals in this movie. This is also a movie that portraits female soldiers in battle, in ways rarely seen in other war movies. This is the best korean war movie I have ever seen, it even outclasses my favorite up to date Tae Guk Gi.
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