Welkkeom tu Dongmakgol (2005) Poster

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8/10
Amazing film!
RickyThind10 January 2006
I just cant believe how much I became fond of the characters and hows visually beautiful this film is. The score is gently leading you along as this touching tale unfolds.

The different layers of the story adds much deserved humanity to the characters - which were well cast. Especially the crazy girl of the village (Hye-jeong Kang from the film Old Boy).

The film brings together the South Korean/American Allies and the Communist North so that they saw eye to eye as human beings, due to the example of innocence radiating from the village. I'm looking forward to the director of Welcome to Dongmakgol's future work.

Basically a really really good film! Korean cinema is really finding its way.

Many Thanks, Ricky Thind
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9/10
excellent ... if you are not afraid to see Americans as bad guys
contemporarymentor9 July 2007
Please excuse bad English, I am still learning :) This is excellent film but I think many Americans will dislike it because it shows American soldiers as "bad guys". In true war there is no "good guys". There is no John Wayne who is always right. This movie shows ugliness of war on all sides. But it is still very pleasant and happy movie to watch sometimes. It is not history lesson, it is fantasy. but still it tells truth about war which Hollywood has never done because Hollywood always shows good guys vs bad guys. Even though this is fantasy it is more real than any war movie I saw. I urge you see this movie regardless of what country you from. Pretend you take no sides. You will enjoy this movie.
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9/10
The only thing that stinks about this movie is...
rooprect22 January 2007
The only thing that stinks about this movie is... what am I going to follow it with? Dongmakgol is such a memorable, powerful experience that I'm afraid to watch another movie lest the next one be a dud.

The only reason I watched this film was that I heard Joe Hisaishi did the musical score. He of course did a brilliant job as always, but that's not even the tip of the iceberg. For one thing, it's the first *colourful* war film I've ever seen. What is it with war movies and drab, bleached sepia tones anyway? Hasn't that been done to death? Well, the gorgeous opening scene of an angelic girl standing in a meadow and watching a fighter plane crash ought to be enough to tell you that this is no cookie-cutter war movie. I'm about to cry just thinking of it.

*sob* give me a minute, willya

OK... moving along...

I won't pretend to say I know anything about the Korean War. I'll leave the political bickering to other IMDb posters. For me, this told a very timeless, human story which could have been set in any war. It is the story of two violent enemies who find something more important than their conflict.

I didn't care who was wearing which uniform, nor did I care who the "bad guys" were, nor did I even flinch when I, a red-blooded American, found myself occasionally hoping for an American soldier to be shot (a truly bizarre experience). I ignored all that stuff; it's all purely incidental. At any time, you could swap flags, and the story would be the same. Magical, humbling, emotional, funny and profoundly affecting.

I strongly recommend that ALL Americans SHOULD SEE THIS FILM. NOW. It's not a history lesson; it's a human lesson. And the message is extremely timely with what is going on in the world today. Leave your personal political views at the door, and allow yourself to be swept away by the poetry of this wonderful tale.
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10/10
2006 Far East Festival Winner
supercd844 May 2006
This movie won the 2006 Udine Far East Festival a big festival about Asian cinematography. At the end of the screening the audience applauded the director Kwang-Hyun Park and the movie for 5 minutes and gave him the audience award with a clear margin above the other festival movies (and many movies where very good!) This is a great film. The story is a great mix of dramatic and comical moments, with some interesting characters as the crazy girl of Dongmakgol (Hye-jeong Kang) and the northern and southern soldiers. Technically the movie is beautiful. Great visuals, simple but effective and good editing that keeps a good pace though all the film. The musics are good but there is no score that you are going to remember. The acting is very good and all the main actors can keep up well all the changes in the mood of the movie and they can do both good comical scenes and dramatic ones. I have no great experience in Korean movies, but this one is surely the best one i've ever seen and I suggest to try and see it, i'm sure that you will have no regrets in doing that.

(Sorry for my "stumbling" English, i'm Italian and i'm not so good in learning foreign languages :P )
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10/10
Enemy? What enemy?
cflpeace8 April 2006
The tragedy of this film is that it's not playing in every theatre in the U.S. so it can be seen by the people who most need to see it. Thank you, Korean American friend of a friend who shared it with us.

See this film if you or someone care about is thinking about signing up to go into the military. See it if have been, or if you've ever known anyone who was, in a war. See it if you have ever seen a peace march - live or on television - and asked,"What's it all about?" See it if you love life.

Don't worry; it's not propaganda or any kind. It just takes us to the scene of the action, sets us down, then lets us get to know some very real people and watch what happens.

Carolfrances
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7/10
Charming
Ferdinand200022 September 2006
Charming feel good story set during the Korean War. Hard to believe but true! The characters are easy to identify with, and draw you into the story. They are fairly believable, with the slight exception of the North Korean commander who seems perhaps too heroic. It verges on being trite or cheesy at times, idolizing the "quaint" village, but for the most part stays away from that. The film is even handed in its treatment of all sides in this war, other than perhaps the military command, as it is quite anti-war. There is a bit of violence and gore, so it isn't for young children. I would recommend this to anyone; go in expecting a fairly romanticized comedy and you shouldn't be disappointed.
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9/10
of North and South
Meganeguard5 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
One of the common themes that can be found in traditional East Asian literature is that of a small village ensconced by mountains and protected by the ravages of the outside world. While the outside world might be enmeshed within the struggles of war, these secret hamlets prosper with their only concerns pertaining to daily necessities not the brutalities that man can wreck upon his fellow man.

Welcome to Dongmakgol opens with a small detachment of North Korean soldiers whose numbers are continuously dwindling not only because of constant attacks, but also because they have been given the order to kill every wounded man. Sick of the murder of his own men, High Comrade Lee Su-Hwa refuses to kill the few remaining wounded soldiers. Yet his second-in-command is all to ready to follow the orders of high command and tries to stir up a mutiny versus the High Comrade. However, before the heated words are able to become firing guns, the small group is attacked and only four survive. These four men scale a steep mountain and their number is reduced to three when the fourth plummets to his death.

Wandering alone on the mountain, the medic Moon Sang-sang comes across a fellow South Korean soldier, 2nd Lt. Pyo readying himself to commit suicide. The medic stops the man from doing so, but almost gets killed himself. As with the North Korean soldiers, these two men make their way into the wilderness.

While resting, the three North Korean soldiers encounter an odd girl dressed in traditional clothing with flowers in her hair. Although each man points a gun at her, she shows little concern and informs the men that they should move because they are standing close to a snake rock. After a snake falls on the arm of Sgt. Jang the three men unload their weapons at the rock. With their guns empty, the three men follow the girl, Yeo-il, to Dongmakgol. Later the South Korean soldiers arrive and, of course, there is a stand off between the two groups. However, after a few events, including the food storehouse blowing up and defeating a wild boar, the five Koreans, along with an American pilot named Kent Smith whose plane crashed at the very beginning of the film, are able to come to terms with each other temporarily, but with the threat of other outsiders looming on the horizon can this fragile friendship be maintained? One of South Korea's biggest hits in 2005 Welcome to Dongmakgol is truly a visual delight. The natural scenery is quite stunning and the CG, a brilliant sequence with a wild boar and a rain of popcorn, is very well done. The actors, especially Shin Ha-kyun, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Joint Security Area, Save the Green Planet, and Jeong Jae-yeong, the Quiet Family, Guns and Talks, do an extraordinary job of portraying adversaries who eventually warm to each other. While not the best of friends, their friendship does shine through. Kang Hye-jeong, Oldboy, Antarctic Journal, does a good job portraying the nutty but sweet girl Yeo-il.

While primarily a comedy Welcome to Dongmakgol also contains a few graphic scenes of violence such as the eradication of the North Korean soldiers at the beginning of the film and a few scenes near the end of the film. While the film might be written off by some as a hurrah that both Koreas can work together, those of Western decent might be a little shocked by the portrayal of Western soldiery, i.e. American, in an otherwise comedic film.
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8/10
A masterpiece from Korea – Best Anti War film Ever.
ajit21062 July 2012
The story is set in Korea during the Korean War in 1950. Soldiers from the North and South, as well as an American pilot, find themselves in a secluded village, its residents largely unaware of the outside world, including the war.

The movie has its own quintessence of the characters; every character is so lovable that you will find it tangible. The screenplay is immaculate; every frame of the movie is eloquent and displays diverse emotions of the characters.

The best part of the movie is the humor; the subtlety of comic scenes is fantastically portrayed. The cinematography is dazzling, every scene is crafted perfectly. The slow-motion scenes looked well-paced; the lush and green outskirts of Korea are shown with elegance, the rains are amazing.

The patriotism of North and South Korean soldiers is ardently poignant, and their measured character development towards the harmonious grounds, is simply overwhelming.

I mean having watched a lot of Korean Movies; I think every movie is better than the other one.

Recommended for everyone.
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10/10
Amazing movie
Paddosan8 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I found the movie simply brilliant, and i must say i find weird that many people focus their attention on the war, which is not the key of the movie itself. In my opinion the war is roughly depicted because it is just a "place" within which the main story unfolds. The emphasis is on the characters, their unpredictable encounter and the situations that make possible for them to become friends and maybe even companions. There is a phrase said Smith taking back the grandma while the village keeps up with the party that somehow sums up the movie: "Such a good time. That's life.".

Besides, i particularly appreciated the acting of the crazy girl, Hye-jeong Kang (which i already saw in Old Boy) which is also probably the best character. Watching the movie i found more than a similitude with two movies from Hayao Miyazaki: Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (for the hidden village idea and the lantern-statues as well) and Mononoke Hime (for the wild boar scene, which by the way is one of the best of Dongmakgol, original and simply brilliant). Only later i realized it was mostly due to the music, which is in fact composed by Joe Hisaishi, who made the music for these Miyazaki movies too; once again, his work is superb.

One thing i always wait for is a movie's ending scene (mostly cause i've seen too many movies ruined in the last part... A.I. for example), and i must say i loved this one, when we see why the young communist soldier had a flower too, and who gave him it. No special happy ending for the village or whatever, just a moment when all of them where together, 6 as the 6 butterflies that we saw flying away from the snow a few moments before. ;)
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10/10
An Anti-War Film In A Different Kind Of Way
Desertman8412 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Welcome to Dongmakgol is a South Korean film set during the Korean War during the 1950's.A U.S. Navy pilot, Neil Smith, is caught in a mysterious storm of butterflies and crash-lands his plane whilst flying over a remote part of Korea. He is found by local villagers who nurse him back to health. In the small village of Dongmakgol, time appears to stand still. They have no knowledge of modern technology, such as guns and grenades. All villagers are unaware to the conflict within Korea. Meanwhile, not far from the village, a platoon of North Korean and South Korean soldiers have an encounter, and the ensuing gunfight leaves most of the North Koreans dead. The surviving soldiers from the North manage to escape through a mountain passage. The North Korean soldiers are found by an odd girl Yeo-il,who acts crazy. She leads them to the village, where to their astonishment, they find two South Korean soldiers.The South Korean soldiers, who have both deserted their units, had also been led to the village which is housing the injured U.S. Navy pilot, Smith, by a different villager.

The unexpected encounter causes an armed standoff that lasts for several days. The villagers have no idea what the stir is about, and wonder why the two sides are standing there pointing those "sticks" at each other. The confrontation ends only when a soldier holding a grenade is worn by fatigue and accidentally drops it. Another soldier heroically throws himself onto the grenade, but it does not explode. He discards the "dud" over his shoulder in contempt, and it rolls into the village storehouse and blows up the village's stockpile of corn for the winter. The remnants fall down from the sky surrealistically as popcorn.

The two groups of Korean soldiers and Smith now have to face the fact that their quarrel condemned the village to starvation in the following winter. They help the villagers in the fields to make up for the damage they have caused, and even work together to kill one of the wild boars that trouble the village. Tensions between the two groups of Korean soldiers gradually lessen, though members of both sides are haunted by the memory of terrible things they have experienced during the war. While this is happening, Allied commanders, who have lost several other planes in the area, are preparing a rescue team to recover Smith, whom they mistakenly believe has been captured by enemy units and is being held at a hidden base. The plan: when the rescue team finds and recovers Smith, a bomber unit is to fly in and destroy the anti-aircraft guns they presume are sited in the village, which means that the innocent villagers are now in grave peril.

The rescue team drops in by parachute at night, suffering heavy casualties from the rough terrain. They enter the village, and under the assumption it is a cover for an enemy base, begin roughing up toward the villagers. Despite the efforts of the villagers to conceal the Korean soldiers by disguising them as villagers, a firefight breaks out in which all the members of the rescue team but one are killed and Yeo-il is fatally wounded by a bullet. The only survivor of the rescue team, the Korean translator, is hit over the head by Smith and is captured by the villagers. Through the translator, the people in the village find out about the bombing plan. The North and South Korean soldiers realize there is no time to make it back to his base to stop the bombing. The only possible way to save the village, they decide, is to create a decoy "enemy base" using equipment from the rescue team parachute drop, so that the bombing unit will attack them instead of the village.

Meanwhile, the decoy is successful, and the remaining North and South Korean soldiers die smiling while a barrage of bombs explode around them. The village is saved, but at the cost of the lives of the former enemies who had later become friends.

Welcome To Dongmakgol was the debut film of director Park Kwang-hyun.It stars Shin Ha-kyun, Jeong Jae-yeong and Kang Hye-jeong,in her Best Supporting Actress winning role as Yeo-il.The film has an anti-war film that is presented in a different way through fantasy.Also,it provides the viewers a message that human beings aren't violent in nature.In the end,it only shows that loving others is truly the inherent nature of human beings.The film is based on the long-running play by Jang Jin. It is a must-see and highly recommended film.No question about it.
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8/10
War. What is it good for?
DionysoReal28 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Wonderful fairy tale movie! A charming village full of innocent, simple people really show some jaded soldiers how to step out of that mentality of fear. In the process of dealing with personal demons and bonding with the villagers, a wonderful transformation takes place between the North and South Korean soldiers toward each other.

The bonding between the soldiers and villagers and the innocence that the soldiers try to protect really hits home. The village's crazy girl was quite endearing --another symbol of innocence which is a major theme. She will remind you of a little child that never grows.

All the politics and harsh realities of the war is secondary to the possibility that the village of Dongmakgol represents. Though more jaded folks might blast the movie as ignoring reality, we all could use a break from all the hate and war in the world couldn't we?
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10/10
Gorgeous and well told tale of war...
BlessedB_uk22 February 2007
Upon approaching this flick i was a tad sceptical - i knew with the cast, director and musical score covered nicely - there was no reason for it to be a let down, but i always find myself slightly dubious of war films. JSA was fantastic though so i gritted my teeth, held my breath and hoped for the best. Absolutely F'in glad i did, its such a well shot beautiful tale, the cinematography is highly original for the premise of a war film, the colours and dialogue were spot on and the actors all came correct. I found myself wishing that i could just F it all and go live in that cool village with that crazy girl for the rest of my days, ha ha. Thats not to say this film is completely void of any gritty (and sometimes gory) realism on the 'war' front but it just doesn't focus so much on the agony, more so on the individual and the reasons behind such atrocities. Its not a short film, but i found myself not wanting it to end. Some scenes in particular bring light relief and patch the whole thing up into a marvellous little epic. I highly highly recommend it to fans of beautiful cinema.
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5/10
Quirky and Fantastical Movie
princebansal198215 June 2011
"Welcome to Dongmakgol" is a quirky and fantasy like tale about a bunch of soldiers who happen on a remote village during Korean war. A village where nobody knows anything about the war and nobody has even seen a gun. The basic premise is a little ridiculous and over the top. But if you are willing to believe it, then the movie is very rewarding.

It has some excellent cinematography. A few scenes are exaggerated but that is for the comic effect. The village and the villagers maybe silly but other characters are still believable which is necessary for the film to maintain its grip on reality.

Many reviewers have complained about the politics of the film. But the movie is not about politics. Just like that village it exists in its own world and is not aware of the reasons of war. It just know instinctively that violence is bad.
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8/10
You won't soon forget your stay
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews28 March 2011
During the Korean war, soldiers on both sides find themselves in a mountain town where the villagers didn't even know that a conflict was being fought. The battle scenes are chaotic, brutal and intense, in the vein of Saving Private Ryan, with strong emotional impact following the humanity seen from everyone. We aren't led to believe that anyone is "evil", there is good and bad in everyone(yes, that goes for the American troops seen, as well). You really find yourself responding to the characters, recognizing traits and such. Do we like everyone? No, just like in real life. The FX are great with occasional exceptions(especially the CGI, I'm afraid... though it really isn't that big a part of this). This is well-acted, and I implore you to accept the subtitles. The realism is impeccable, and you can practically feel the pain and impact when a bullet hits. This is filmed and edited rather well. It keeps to a good pace, so the 133 minutes pass pretty smoothly. There is a moderate amount of bloody, violent and disturbing content in this. I recommend this to any fan of dramas. 8/10
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9/10
Simply Brilliant
Agent1235810 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I thought that this film would be another one of those feel-good touchy storyline that seems to be dominating Korean movies lately. But the way that this movie displayed the story in a simple manner, not overdoing too much war story but not completely overriding it with the human story, impressed me.

The year is 1950 and the Korean War is at its climax. An American pilot lands near a small, isolated village, located in the mountains. Meanwhile, a troop of North Korean soldiers are attacked and only 3 live to trudge through the harsh mountains. A South Korean soldier who ran away from his troop meets another soldier in same position. These soldiers meet together in a small village called "Dongmakgol" where innocent and very old-fashioned villagers are surprised to hear that there's been a war going on.

I loved seeing the scenes where the audience gets to know the good side of characters who seem harsh on the outside. This movie has some great acting. The scenes are not only touching, they have some amount of dry Korean humor as well. I laughed and cried.

The one thing I can specifically point out as a fault in this movie was the portrayal of Americans or the Allies troops. The dialogue wasn't so bad, considering it was made in Korea. I've heard a lot worse. But the Allies had a typical one-dimensional feel and I was disappointed to find that they were viewed in such a way. It only showed what some Koreans like to call a "kojeng-eeh" image. The movie explained why they had to take certain actions, but I still felt it was something that could have been improved.
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9/10
A spellbinding gem.
studleymoore20273 June 2008
I am a lover of all foreign cinema especially the Asian side of things but for me this came under the radar. I had not heard of this until i rented it in my local video shop 2 years ago. World cinema is far popular now than when i first got into it and i'm not to sure thats such a good thing because there was a time where only the best titles made there way to this country, a time where renting a foreign film guaranteed quality but that changed with the sudden American studio interest. This film was apart of that era for me, a film that i picked up many times but couldn't bring myself to rent. Wow was i wrong

This film is politically based but mythically set, get past the war and into the ethos of dongmakgol and you have a far more enjoyable film. I am not writing off the atrocities of war by no means but the way the spirit of this village has in bringing these enemies together is what the film is all about.

From the performances to the music score and even the quality SFX this film amazed me, how this isn't more widely appreciated is a sin. I urge all the people who read this that haven't seen it to watch it, and if you don't enjoy it then i can at least say i tried.
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9/10
Awesome movie! then the cons...
anthonytnguyen20 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I love almost every single moment of the movie, however all the "Americans" including the "Korean-Americans" were horrible actors! c'mon.... wth??? I think they were limited on selection "We CANNOT, Lose THIS, important, LOCATION!" the general speaks in segments, emphasizing at the wrong times, making it just so fake. The air squad that sky dived was also bad actors. So it just wasn't the main American actor from Dongmokgol. Speaking of actors/actresses, the others were excellent! Well anyways, I watched it with several others and they had the same opinion as I did, and I was really disappointed in the American actors. Besides some of the horrible acting, there was a weird part in the plot that I didn't particularly like.

The squad that went to same Seu Miss (smith, lol still cracks me up), got killed by butterflies? These guys are supposed to be pros. Not only that, they didn't even bring radios either??? Not one of them had a radio or some way to contact their commander? Not very likely... and bombing an area with little information about the terrain. I don't know too much about military tactics, but it seems odd to me.

Don't get me wrong though, I gave this a 9! I loved the movie and music, just some cons that bothered me.
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10/10
Powerful Anti-War Movie, One Of The Best
denis88823 July 2017
Welcome to Dongmakgol (Hangul: 웰컴 투 동막골; RR: Welkeom tu dongmakgol) is a 2005 South Korean film and this one is a powerful mighty steamroller of a movie which leaves us spellbound and amazed with its sheer grandeur, war ferocity, superb montage, excellent camera work and awesome anti-war message. This is a classical South Korean war film at its best with mesmerizing views of Korean nature, deep symbolism, brutal honest war scenes, and excellent cast performance. 2 hours of the film flew like a minute, so great and impeccable its delivery was. Huge Hurrah must go to the film director Park Kwang-hyun for his breathtaking work, as he showed us a decent valiant epic drama which leaves no one bland. The story shows 3 North and 2 South Korean soldiers stuck in the same desolated village, along with an American pilot Smith. We witness the slow genesis of their relations, from hatred to deep respect. But the war is near, and so the heroes must take some steps which will... well, you really have to see this awesome anti-war movie which makes you laugh, weep, sigh and above all, hate this awful war. This is a must see
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10/10
Epic...
mrdjan17 February 2016
Wow. Rarely any movie leaves me breathless but this one sure did. Welcome to Dongmakgol is an anti-war epic movie. Casting is perfect ( Kang Hye-Jung in a role of crazy local girl is outstanding, so are Jung Jae-young & Shin Ha-Kyun in the roles of North & South Korean soldiers ), music by Joe Hisaishi is phenomenal and the whole atmosphere of the movie is fantastic. You almost feel proud to watch those soldiers being normal human beings and the village of Dongmakgol is my personal vision of paradise on Earth. I've become a huge fan of Korean cinema and this movie is certainly one of the great reasons for that. Strong recommendation, a must see movie.
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At another time,at another place we would have more fun...
elsinefilo20 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Dongmakgol is an amazingly verdant,pristine village where a US navy pilot Neil Smith(Steve Taschler) crash-lands when his plane gets caught in a surreal butterfly storm.The village which is totally incognizant of the Korean conflict warmly welcomes the foreigner. Since no villager except the village teacher can speak any English they just try to communicate with him in their own language. At one moment the teacher asks hims "How are you?" but when Smith answers him "How do you think I am? I feel like sh*t?" so the teacher gets disillusioned with the answer because the normal correct American answer should "I am fine, and you?" :) The village looks like a calm and serene place where time stands still. The villagers have no knowledge of all the fancy trappings of modern life,technology or merely guns and weapons. Their life goes on simply and placidly till two groups of Korean soldiers (North Korean and South Korean)ends way up there. The North Korean soldiers, Rhee Soo-hwa (Jeong Jae-yeong), Chang Young-hee (Lim Ha-ryong)and the two South Korean soldiers Pyo Hyun-chul (Shin Ha-kyun) and Moon Sang-sang (Seo Jae-kyung)destroy the storage of the village in their armed clash.Apparently one of them just throws the hand grenade assuming that it's been just a "dud". The two groups of soldiers are now bound to work together in the fields to fill the storage of the village and they will actually rub off on each other somehow. The movie sounds like a surreal piece of flick sometimes. For instance, at one moment they kill one of the wild boars in a transcendent work-together. At another moment the corns blown out of the stockpile of the village falls down on the village like a pop-corn. There are some interesting characters in the movie too even if they may sound and look stereotyped sometimes they are sweet and rich characters--like the village chief and the crazy girl Yeo-il (Kang Hye-jeong.) Welcome to Dongmakgol may sound like a "platitudinous" movie for some. It may even sound "cheesy" at some points but it's indeed one sweet anti-war movie!
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9/10
To be an individual
jooyoonchung4 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
As another review put it, this movie takes no sides. Uniforms link soldiers to a nation, but each uniform is worn by an individual. In the film, we first see the main characters, as they fight each other for some abstract ideal, something they come to realize (or already realized) that they don't really believe in. During their stay at Dongmakgol, however, they come to realize what is truly worth fighting for, and ultimately trade their lives to preserve it.

To me, it seems that the movie yearns for the innocence that Korea lost during the Korean War. Dongmakgol, the village - exemplified by the young, exceedingly naive, and perhaps a bit crazy, but cute, woman - is sort of Korea's Eden. The villagers know nothing of guns, grenades, or even that there's a war going on. When one villager asks one of the soldiers who has attacked Korea, the soldier has trouble getting the villager to understand that it is Korea that has attacked itself. For the villager, it just doesn't compute.

There's a somewhat non-so-subtle theme of the hope of reunification (but, definitely a bias toward South Korea), which reminds me of Taegukgi.

This is the director Kwang-hyun Park's first film, I believe. For being so young, he is an adept director. I anticipate his next film with hope.
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7/10
good movie
koks-110 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
At the beginning of the film I thought that it was going to be another cynical korean war picture, because it was so dark. But then I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out to be a moving human story, that one can love their enemies and even come together for sacrifice to save others.

This film has fluffy parts, serious parts, touching parts, and beautiful parts. It's a real turning point for korean cinema and this director is one to watch as this is his debut film it has so many ideas. Like for instance there is this great scene with a boar that reminded me of "A Clockwork Orange". The score was done by Miyazaki's composer.
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8/10
Great film
koreanspk26 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I thought this movie was definitely original, funny, sad, and emotional in many ways...I didn't expect much and was simply curious about the film due to having been the number 2 movie of 2005 in Korea...I'd definitely recommend it - it really reminds us about what's important in life...I found it quite heartwarming how such adversarial parties could learn to enjoy a genuine fellowship sans the rigid, conformist partisanship that was indoctrinated by their respective countries. This symbolic "shedding" of their former identities was demonstrated quite poignantly when each of them adopted the traditional garments of the town...the fact that each of them voluntarily assumed such physical transformations evinced a willing preference and readiness for unity. It was quite moving to see the progressive dissolution of their contempt and distrust for each other evolve into such a powerful, familial bond... In many ways, this transient, new life within the village represented a form of "utopia" which seemed far more preferable than their former ways of life

*spoiler* The only thing I didn't like was the tragic ending --and I do agree with the arguments made by a few on this board concerning the illogical nature of opting for a futile, suicidal standoff as opposed to a more practical evacuation of the village--even if that would entail some sacrifice on the part of the villagers...there was definitely an alternative to avoiding the unnecessary deaths...Just because the villagers would be losing their way of life doesn't seem to justify their deaths...on the other hand, I guess it's arguable that their deaths were heroic and almost "redemptive" for them...especially for the NK leader and the suicidal SK solider...nevertheless, it was a great film.
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7/10
A delight to watch!
paulclaassen10 June 2018
I love the unpredictability of Korean movies. This film takes us on an interesting journey. Although it is a comedy for most parts of the movie, keep in mind there are some dramatic war scenes. It can be just as emotional as it is funny.

I've often wondered how different it would be if solders fighting a war were to meet under different circumstances. Would they become friends perhaps? Best buddies? This film proves so well how different it very well could be, when soldiers from North and South Korea end up in the same village during the Korean war. This was a sweet innocent comedy film with a deep underlying theme. It is beautifully filmed and the popcorn scene and the boar scene were just awesome, filmed in such a unique way. The climatic battle scene was more humorous than realistic, although it did turn out quite sad, with a great action scene. The film also once again shows us how annoyingly destructive the Americans can be.
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7/10
A Korean War fable...
steveo1228 April 2017
Korean War. An American pilot, a couple of North Korean and South Korean soldiers take respite in a peaceful valley with villagers who know nothing of unnatural strife. An epic sized almost-a-fairy-tale with a touch of 'Shangri-La', a touch of magic, a touch of 'that ain't likely' and a touch of brutal warfare. The Americans are aggressive. Excellent production values, beautiful photography, great actors and two impressive battle sequences. The humor is gentle and there is some corn but also great charm. It will be too long for some, but that's the way it is.
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