Director – Chung Ji-Young – 2012 – South Korea – LEAFF Cert. 15 – 106m
An activist is arrested and tortured into making a confession, although it’s unclear whether his torturers have any interest in getting him to spout truth rather than lies – 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
In 1985, South Korea was a right-wing military dictatorship (in contrast to North Korea, which was then and remains today a left-wing military dictatorship). Determined to build a prosperous economy, the authorities would stop at nothing to quell any form of dissent, and this repression included torture. Activists fighting for a more liberal society were considered to be in league with North Korea, and thus any means of suppressing them could be used.
The film is based on the experiences of later Minister of Health and Welfare Kim Geum-tae (here played by Park Won-sang), who as a pro-democracy activist in 1985 complied with a request to visit the local police station only to find himself bundled into a car and driven to a torture facility (later revealed to be the eponymous Namyeong-dong) where he would spend the best part of a month.… Read the rest