On the 16th April 2014 South Korea was changed as a nation. After the days, weeks and months that followed the Sewol tragedy, the country became undone, untrusting and more divided than we ...
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On the 16th April 2014 South Korea was changed as a nation. After the days, weeks and months that followed the Sewol tragedy, the country became undone, untrusting and more divided than we have ever seen in its history. 'After the Sewol' explores the changing faces of this nation through the eyes of two British film makers. They talk with relatives of the victims, rescue divers and activists about their struggles and battles since this tragic accident happened and embark upon a journey to uncover how this accident came about, looking deep into Korean history about why no action was taken to prevent it in the first place. This journey takes them all over Korea, meeting an older generation struggling to create a safer place for their children to live in and a young vibrant generation fighting for a corrupt free society. But, all of them searching for one thing, the truth about why the Sewol victims died.Written by
Powerful follow-up and investigation into the Sewol sinking
The strength of After the Sewol comes in how it moves quickly past the sinking itself and moves into new territory of how the families and those involved have coped with uncovering the truth of what happened that day. Fingers get pointed and numerous questions I think the general population had never considered get raised in a very suitable fashion.
The film then explores more about similar safety disasters in Korea's recent history and how the rapid development of the country is often looked at as a reason for this lack of safety protocols or adherence to safety.
I'll let the powerful interviews with those who lost loved ones speak for themselves as far as their ideas and theories, but I will say that two particular moments really touched me.
1. During the opening credits, homage is paid to the victims as the names of those who perished sink silently into the murky blackness of the screen, one after another. In the audience, we are helpless to save those names and can only watch, just as many of us did on that day in April when we watched the real ferry sink on live TV.
2. Near the end of the film, there's a moment when the interview subjects all take a pause from speaking, shift their gazes from the off-camera interviewer, and stare directly at you, the viewer, holding your gaze for a powerful few seconds.
These two moments really hit home for me. Definitely the strongest documentary of its kind out there. Kudos to Matt and Neil for doing such a respectful job!
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