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'Welcome to Dongmakgol', elaborate mixture of history and fantasy

2005/08/02 Source

Recently, one of the most noticeable trends in Korean movies is a focus on fantasy relieved of obsessive realism.

Some movies with its setting in a contemporary history of Korean have already reached a meaningful achievement in that they showed imaginary fantasies put on historic facts.

'Hyojadong Ibalsa (The President's Barber)', which is a kind of tale under a regime of President Park Chung-hee, and 'The President's Last Bang', which is a black comedy stressing coincidence of history, are good examples.

Similar idea can also be found in 'Hwang San Bul' to go further back to the past, or even in 'Chongoon' of imaginary story about historic figures.

And now, dealing with historic events of the war and division of Korea, 'Welcome to Dongmakgol' displays, in a style of fantasy, a friendly settlement in a space disconnected with reality in the war. To this end, this movie will help enlarge the view of commercial movies.

Magical and vibrant colors spread in a space called 'Dongmakgol'

Based on a popular and same-titled stage play by filmmaker/playwright Jang Jin, this film (Welcome to Dongmakgol) is set in a remote mountain village during the Korean War.

As the village is named 'Dongmakgol' meaning 'Make your life innocent and free like children', the villagers are within a naive community without distinction of age, sex or wealth.

One day, the life of the villagers is turned upside down when soldiers from the North and South end up stranded and living in their community. To top things off, an American fighter pilot's plane crashes nearby, so he ends up joining them.

The soldiers, however, are touched by innocence of the villagers so as to join hands to protect the community from the U.S. forces' attack in the end.

It nearly could have created only typical humanism aroused in the war, yet thanks to vivid and mystical colors, the film can be turned out to be full of vitality. For example, tombs in front of the village look lighting and there is a festival in the middle of night making a joyful noise. On top of that, when a hand grenade is thrown in a granary, popped corn just comes down like snowfall, which would be the finest scene in the film.

Of course, this film was cleverly made balancing fantasy with reality. Out of total production costs of over US$ 8 million, considerable amount cost to computer graphic (CG) to reach a high level.

Meanwhile, Japanese composer Hisaichi Joe, well known for his collaborations with directors Kitano Takeshi (Hana-bi, Dolls) and Miyazaki Hayao (Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle), has for the first time signed on to write the musical score for a Korean film.

The film features popular Korean actors Shin Ha-kyun (Save the Green Planet), Jung Jae-young (Silmido), and Kang Hye-jung (Old Boy). It will mark the feature debut of Bae Jong, who directed My Nike in the No Comment omnibus collection from 2002.

The Source : Koreacontent News Team

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