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'Korean Film to Address May 18 Uprising'

2007/07/09 Source

A U.S. daily says that a new Korean film ("May 18") about a 1980 democratic uprising in the southwestern city of Gwangju is expected to shed light on and renew interest in the tragic event.

Journalist Donald Kirk, who had covered the days following the uprising on May 18th, 1980, wrote in the Internet edition of the Christian Science Monitor that the film "Splendid Holiday" revives the atmosphere as he experienced it. Although he quotes a Korean journalist as saying that the film's director may have, in his words, "overdone it", he recalled the heavy-handed state repression in Gwangju, which he likened to Beijing's Tiananmen Square incident of 1989.

But Kirk also suggested that the film's lack of political innuendo against the U.S. may indicate a decline in anti-American sentiment, noting that the uprising had triggered such feelings among Koreans who claimed that the U.S. had given tacit approval for the Chun Doo-hwan government to pull troops from northern lines to quell the uprising.

Reported by KBS WORLD Radio

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