A widowed father and taxi driver who drives a German reporter from Seoul to Gwangju to cover the 1980 uprising, soon finds himself regretting his decision after being caught in the violence around him.
Tragedy of a 8 year old girl coping with a gruesome rape damaging her internally and affecting emotionally tries to overcome all obstacles that are about to happen in her life aftermath of ... See full summary »
Amid the chaos of refugees fleeing the Korean War in December 1950, a young boy, Duk-soo, sees his fate change in the blink of an eye when he loses track of his younger sister and he leaves his father behind to find her. Settling in Busan, Duk-soo devotes himself to his remaining family, working all manner of odd jobs to support them in place of his father. His dedication leads him first to the deadly coal mines of Germany, where he meets his first love, Youngja, and then to war-torn Vietnam in this generational epic about one man's personal sacrifices.Written by
Ode to My Father is a story for most Korean-Americans who came to the US as children with their parents. I always thought my Uncle Thomas was such a brave and entrepreneurial individual for going to Saigon during the war to sell pizza to the US soldiers but after watching the film, I realized these opportunities were presented to the masses after the Korean War. I never knew about the German coal mines recruiting laborers from Korea and that definitely gave me pause to reflect upon the scene where the Korean high schoolers were discriminating against the Pakistani couple at Starbucks. South Korea was once 3rd world too.
My dad always lamented on why the conflict between super powers was fought on Korean land instead of Japan. And why Korea was divided and not Japan. Germany was divided after WWI, why wasn't Japan? Japan shared all its medical learnings from the wartime POW science experiments and gave unconditional surrender to the US to do its will and was spared. He resigned that the 2 atomic bombs were punishment enough.
Ode to My Father is an attempt at epic film-making spanning 4 decades like Forrest Gump. The biggest issue I have with this film in attempting depiction of such a span of time is the lack of period transport for the film watcher. The film Taegukki was much better at cinematography showing life after the liberation from Japanese colonialism. You feel like you are there with the brothers. In Ode to My Father, the breathtaking scene of the refugees amassed at the port was eye-opening to say the least but the rest of the film showed contemporary thoughts and actions from its main characters rather than the unworldly views possessed by most Koreans living at the time.
Duk-soo and Dal-gu's friendship is exemplary of the many friendships forged during that time. My father is still good friends with his buddies from middle school and high school. They never share stories or reminisce about the past because it is just too painful. But if my father saw this film, he would definitely be in tears at his ripe old age of 82.
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