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In this swinging musical drama set during the Korean War, the soldiers at a POW camp plan a tap show to distract both themselves and the prisoners from the hardships of war. Led by a former Broadway dancer and a rebellious North Korean soldier, the band of prisoners find a new sense of freedom in dancing.Written by
Well Go USA Entertainment
Tap Dancing as a Means to Break Down Societal Barriers
After watching Ben is Back, I needed to find a film that could soothe my aching heart. I scrolled through the list of films that were playing at the particular AMC in Monterey Park, and I noticed several South Korean films that were playing. I ended up finding out that this theater plays a lot of Asian cinema here, so I plan to be back. Anyways, I saw the film Swing Kids was playing, and based on the description, I knew it would be the opposite of heartbreaking, right?
Wrong, but not in a bad way, because this film brings the audience a whirlwind of emotions that I was not prepared to feel. Swing Kids is a film that takes place during the middle of the Korean War in the Geoje Prison Camp in South Korea. As the South Koreans and the American soldiers kept the North Korean communists as prisoners of war, there was down time that would be used for recreation. Well, an African American United States soldier decides to start a tap dancing group, and both North and South Koreans (communists and anti-communists) join. As tensions are prevalent immensely at first, all three groups learn to love each other as family, and they ultimately realize that ideology is the only thing that ever separated them.
I thought the script of this film was absolutely incredible. The commentary on the ridiculousness of ideology really made me think about all of the times in history that human beings have rejected other human beings solely because of their culture, religion, political ideology, or race. This film shows us that we need to stop putting labels on each other to differentiate us, but we should all just put on those tap dance shoes and start dancing.
Swing Kids had a lovely mixture of comedy, sadness, drama, and genuine horror as well. The film may have been a little too oversaturated with comedy in the first half because of how radical a shift the second half of the film takes, but I think it was purposeful due to how quickly motivations change in real war scenarios.
It disappoints me that this film is hardly getting any recognition, because I thought it was incredible. Jared Grimes, Hye-soo Park (from Age of Youth), and Kyung-soo Do were amazing here. Their dancing skills and heartfelt dialogue really sold me in their performances.
Absolutely lovely film that all of you should check out.
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