Director – Chung Ji-Young – 1990 – South Korea – LEAFF Cert. 15 – 157m
Gritty account of the Korean War based on the memoirs of a North Korean soldier – plays as part of a strand showcasing director Chung Ji-Young at the 2023 London East Asia Film Festival (LEAFF) which runs from Wednesday, October 18th to Sunday, October 29th
Based on the Korean War memoirs of Lee Tae (Ahn Sung-ki), a former North Korean news agency correspondent who fought for the North Korean partisans, this is a long and gruelling account of the Korean War, a South Korean production exploring a North Korean perspective. We rarely see inside the ranks of the South Korean forces. The partisans are all ‘comrades’ and women as well as men number among their ranks.
Inevitably, romantic attachments occur, although these are frowned upon and quickly quashed by superior officers. Which leaves separated parties desperate for news of their transferred objects of affection.
One particularly arresting sequence has Northern partisans shooting at Southern soldiers across an area of farmland until a child, seemingly oblivious to the very concept of warfare, wanders into the crossfire area. Both sides halt their shooting and come to a recognition of the humanity of the other.… Read the rest